Title Documents reveal UK push to water down EU biomass regulations
Source Other
Date 2018-03-28 AM 9:56:46 Hit 146
The British government pushed to weaken EU controls on biomass energy in December, even though the technology will undermine efforts to contain global warming for up to half a century, according to research released today.
Despite its imminent Brexit, the UK successfully rewrote a proposal to almost quadruple the potential size of wood burning plants before they had to meet efficiency criteria, according to documents obtained by Unearthed, and shared exclusively with Climate Home News.
The win for Whitehall’s lobby offensive – in alliance with Poland and Spain – was pushed through in a ministerial revision to the renewable energy directive in December.
Shortly before it was approved, a group of high profile climate scientists warned the directive’s biomass articles were “a critical flaw” in the proposal, and would accelerate climate change.
This was because the proposal tolerated the cutting down and burning of whole trees, a process that releases more CO2 into the atmosphere than replanted trees can absorb for decades, if not centuries.
Greenpeace’s chief UK scientist Doug Parr told CHN: “The UK government knows this energy source could backfire and has cooled on providing fresh subsidies, yet they are trying to lobby the EU to make it easier to burn more wood. If ministers really want Britain to be a climate leader, they should back unambiguously clean renewable technologies like solar and wind that really help tackle climate change.”
The directive still needs to be approved by the European Parliament, Commission and Council in a trilogue process that could take up to a year.
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