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CT4 - 5th Plenary Meeting in Copenhagen

|   CT 4

Highlights Core Theme 4: Biomass Mobilisation and Sustainability

Headline 1: Interpretative Questions on Bioenergy Sustainability Criteria and GHG Emissions Saving Criteria (RED II - Articles 29/31)

During the first CT4 session, the Commission presented an overview of the new requirements for biomass sustainability, particularly Articles 29 and 31, included in the recast of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II). The focus of the discussions within the 1st session was on criteria applied to biomass fuels produced from agricultural biomass or from forest biomass, as well as criteria on greenhouse gas emission saving from the use of biomass fuels. Participating Member States then used the opportunity to come up with a common understanding of the provisions in order to aid not only the implementation of the current Directive, but also of the RED II. Prior to the session, an initial inventory of questions from Member States on the interpretation of the new provisions in the RED II on biomass sustainability was made in order to support the discussions.

Headline 2: Implementation of the Bioenergy Sustainability Criteria by the MS (RED II - Article 30)

RED II introduces a framework for the verification of compliance with the sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions saving criteria including the use of voluntary certification schemes and/or the development of national schemes. This is already applied for the transport sector, but the concept remains quite new for the electricity and heat sectors in most Member States. As a result, the focus of this session was to exchange information on current practices in the different Member States that have already developed a sustainability governance system for biomass use for electricity and heat sectors and presenting two voluntary schemes, one experienced with RED I implementation for biofuels and a system for sustainable forest management, with interest in RED-recognition in the future. There are several issues to be incorporated into the voluntary schemes such as the fact that forestry supply chains differ from the agricultural supply chains and that the regional approach is more efficient and the possibility for Member States to add sustainability requirements for biomass fuels. Two Member State presentations provided insight into the experiences related to the development of a national sustainability scheme for biofuels and the advantages and (possible) disadvantages of extending the current scheme to also cover biomass fuels.

Headline 3: Biomass Reporting Obligations under the Governance Regulation

At the start of the session, the European Commission presented the draft versions of the INECs (Integrated National Energy and Climate Plans) submitted by the Member States at the end of 2018. The presentation helped give an overview of the state of play of biomass use and availability in Europe and the future expected developments for bioenergy. In the aftermath of the 4th Plenary Meeting in Vienna (November 2018), a Taskforce was formed to more closely examine current difficulties in biomass reporting. After a presentation of the preliminary results of the Taskforce, which summarized the lessons learned from the last Progress Reports of six Member States, participating experts discussed experiences and best practices with data collection on biomass availability and further work for the Task Force in close cooperation with EUROSTAT in order to improve reporting under the Governance Regulation.