A pivotal moment for sustainable bioenergy policy: Reflections from IEEP’s session at EUSEW 2019

Authors: Catherine Bowyer, Silvia Nanni, Thorfinn Stainforth

The governance of bioenergy and the ability to secure biomass’ sustainable production lie at the heart of Europe’s low-carbon future.

Europe currently sits at policy crossroads. On the one hand, there is the implementation of the new recast Renewable Energy Directive (RED II); on the other, the negotations on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Both are key tools, relevant to securing environmentally responsible biomass supply chains and promoting investment in best practice bioenergy solutions.

Last month, IEEP and the European Biogas Association hosted a session at the EU Sustainable Energy Weekto discuss among a panel of key stakeholders the governance of sustainable bioenergy and biogas moving forward.

The aim of the session was to explore how policy can be better tailored to support bioenergy and biogas best practices that deliver for Europe’s climate goals, while protecting the environment and enabling positive economic and social outcomes.

The underlying questions was, how can we exploit the policy opportunities in both the energy and agricultural arena, at the EU, the national, regional and local level?

The transposition of the RED II into national legislation represents a pivotal moment when Member States should be ambitious in how they choose to demonstrate that bioenergy feedstocks are sustainability sourced.

Policy recommendations that emerged from our session:

  • Coordinate across all relevant policy instruments to ensure that they are building on each other, not contradicting;
  • Rural Development Programmes need to better coordinate action on the bioeconomy, and promote only best practice approaches to bioenergy and biogas;
  • A clear taxonomy for different types of biogas solutions and best practice standards is needed to inform investor and farmer decision making;
  • Ensure adequate reporting and transparency of planning.

IEEP would like to thank once again the moderator, speakers, panelists and participants for a very fruitful discussion.

For more information on IEEP’s work on bioenergy and the wider bioeconomy, please contact Catherine Bowyer, Ben Allen or Silvia Nanni.

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