Council recommends different biomass policy
In the run-up to the world summit on biological diversity, the German Council for Sustainable Development RNE urges the German federal government to take action to counter the adverse effects of bioenergy production. For this purpose the Council adopted its policy recommendation “Conserving biodiversity now means: Making biomass production sustainable”.
According to the Council’s assessment, alongside with its environmental significance, biomass economy for energy production will gain in importance and relevance in national policy, e.g. in the field of research, innovation and agricultural policy, or in constructing decentralised energy supply systems.
According to critical assessments produced by scientists an excessive expansion of the biomass economy would have adverse effects for worldwide species diversity and the global climate. Rise in production of palm oil, soy and sugar cane may be associated with ecologically problematic material flows and social disruption. Also, the potential sustainability of second generation biofuels is completely uncertain.
The Sustainability Council calls for a reduction of the national blending quota and asks national policy to set up effective criteria to assess sustainability of biomass production, conversion and transport. Instead of proceeding in favour of farmed fules, development of biomass production should be in line with a holistic strategy that embraces all energy sources with the aim of finding the most climate-friendly solution.
The Council sees the necessity to developing and strengthening bioenergy-beased-value creating strategies for rural areas. Biomass could be accorded a prominent role in decentralised energy supply systems – particularly in the heat market – and in combination with other renewable energies.
In view of the global intensification of the biomass economy, the Council recommends that the German federal government, as host of the 9th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, launches a major initiative to adopt an international protocol on bioenergy modelled on the Biosafety Protocol.
The Council for Sustainable Development argues for intensified research on new ways to cultivate and use bioenergy. It urges a comprehensive assessment against sustainability criteria of all energy sources.
These recommendations of the Council can also be obtained as a brochure free of charge by using our online form.