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CT4 - 7th Plenary Meeting

|   5. Highlights

Highlights Core Theme 4: Biomass Mobilisation and Sustainability

Session 1: National bioenergy strategies and sustainability issues – RED II implementation update and potential impacts of the European Green Deal


During the webinar session, DG ENER gave an update on the RED II implementation as well as on the progress made on the European Green Deal, the new growth strategy of the European Commission. It was emphasized that citizens are at the core of the energy transition in support of transforming the EU`s economy sustainably. The presentation highlighted three important milestones related to the Green Deal, such as the 2030 Climate Target Plan, the Energy system integration Strategy and 2030 Biodiversity Strategy. The 2030 Climate Target Plan raised the decarbonisation target to 55 % and set a higher renewable energy target. The use of biomass will remain significant, which will require a more sustainable deployment of bioenergy without negative impact on diversity, the utilization of untapped resources and the reasonable deployment of energy crops.

The three pillars of the System Integration Strategy provide a solid foundation for a climate natural energy system. Especially in sectors that are hard to decarbonize, the deployment of low carbon fuels, including hydrogen is crucial. Core Theme 4 participants were provided with an overview of the planned and required key actions toward 2030. The Biodiversity Strategy recognizes that sustainable bioenergy is a priority solution in climate change mitigation, along with wind and solar. The implementation of the RED II sustainability criteria is key to achieve this. In addition to the EU Forest Strategy, the Commission will develop guidelines on closer-to-nature forestry practices. The revised Renewable Energy Directive will be reviewed and the public consultation is ongoing. Participants were invited to take part in the process and feed into the discussions.

Two Member States namely the Netherlands and Denmark presented their national biomass sustainability frameworks. Participants learned about the Dutch sustainability framework, which is based on the recommendations of the Socio - Economic Council, and incorporates socio-economic criteria. The framework demonstrates the most efficient ways to utilize biomass as feedstock, given the limited resources and paves the way toward building up a high - quality use. The presentation on the Danish sustainability framework highlighted, which aspects of the strategy reach beyond the scope of the RED II and what are the reasons behind it. This framework is based on stricter criteria for biomass and sustainability than the RED II Directive and promotes alternatives to biomass for heat. Participants also had the chance to learn more about the Danish political agreement on sustainable criteria. Thereafter, specific questions about interpretation of the REDII were answered by DG ENER.