A group of plaintiffs from Estonia, France, Ireland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, and the US are filing a lawsuit against the European Union on Monday (4 March) to challenge the inclusion of forest biomass in the bloc’s renewable energy directive. If the case is won, wood biomass will no longer be counted in the EU’s 2030 target for renewables.
If they get their way, this could deprive the EU of an energy source which currently makes up close to 60% of the bloc’s renewables, more than solar and wind power combined.
The precedent-setting case was filed with the EU court in Luxembourg on the 4th of March by a group of affected individuals and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
The group argues that EU institutions have failed to take account of scientific evidence showing that forest biomass harvesting and combustion for energy purposes exacerbates climate change by causing deforestation outside of Europe.
“The treatment of biomass as carbon neutral runs counter to scientific findings” showing that burning wood for energy typically emits 1.5 times more CO2 than coal and 3 times more than natural gas, the plaintiffs point out.