The EU is currently deciding on the expansion of renewable energy until 2030, with wood slated as the main biofuel. With Europe’s forests in a sad state, we need to stop even more trees from going up in smoke in the name of “green” power. Please sign our petition and speak out against the EU’s misguided biofuels policy!
Imagine a gigantic cube of logs measuring nearly 760 meters (almost half a mile) on each side. That’s how much wood the European Union (EU) burns every every year to generate heat and electricity.
Europe wants to promote renewable energy in order to protect the climate and give the economy a boost. But while the media focus on wind, hydropower and solar energy, two thirds of Europe’s renewable energy is in fact generated using biomass. Almost 440 million cubic meters of wood and wood waste are used annually as fuel, making up the bulk of the EU’s renewable energy.
Wood harvesters leave nothing behind: they also shred branches and twigs, and in some cases even pull stumps out of the ground using heavy machinery. Rich ecosystems are thus being degraded to barren commercial forests. And trees are not only being felled in Europe: the EU’s hunger for biofuel is also being fed by overseas timber plantations and wood pellet imports.
Europe’s forests are degrading steadily, as documented by annual forest status reports. Three-quarters of all animal and plant species and habitats are in an unsatisfactory state according to the German Ministry of the Environment. Biodiversity is in danger of collapse.
Burning trees on a massive scale is anything but environmentally friendly or good for the climate, as 800 scientists have written to the EU. After all, it is very doubtful whether the forests that are going up in smoke today will ever be allowed to grow back and store carbon in the future.
Instead of gearing them toward wood production, we need to ensure that forests are managed in the most natural state possible. Old trees and deadwood are vital habitat and at least five percent of all forest area should remain untouched.
Please sign the Rainforest Rescue petition to protect our forests and their inhabitants.