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Biomass UK statement on recent claims on bioenergy published by the Guardian

“Sustainable biomass has played a central role in taking the UK off coal, provided an important back-up for wind power and is critical to achieving net zero by 2050 through Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS). The UK has world-leading sustainability criteria which prevent the supply of biomass for energy generation from areas where deforestation or land use change has occurred.

“In this case, a section of forest was legally harvested to supply wood for industries including construction, joinery and bioenergy. The harvest took place in line with Natura 2000 agreements and under strict controls and regulations and there’s nothing to suggest that this harvest was inappropriate. Moreover, tree cover in both Estonia and Latvia has increased in recent years, underlining the sustainable nature of the forestry operations there.

“Furthermore, this report incorrectly cites bioenergy as the main driver for harvesting in the Baltic region. This ignores basic forestry economics that clearly demonstrate that harvests are driven by the significantly more valuable timber used in housebuilding and furniture than the cheaper forestry residues that are used for bioenergy. The article also ignores important relevant context, for example, that economic recovery since the financial crash has led to a recovery of forestry operations to supply wood for housebuilding, among other things.

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