The EU is seeking comment on the draft implementing act for the biomass sustainability criteria in the Renewable Energy Directive.

The apparent determination of EC policymakers to continue pushing the sustainability and LULUCF criteria as the solution to the biomass problem is reminiscent of “The Emperors New Clothes.” As summarized at Wikipedia:

“Two swindlers arrive at the capital city of an emperor who spends lavishly on clothing at the expense of state matters. Posing as weavers, they offer to supply him with magnificent clothes that are invisible to those who are stupid or incompetent. The emperor hires them, and they set up looms and go to work. A succession of officials, and then the emperor himself, visit them to check their progress. Each sees that the looms are empty but pretends otherwise to avoid being thought a fool. Finally, the weavers report that the emperor’s suit is finished. They mime dressing him and he sets off in a procession before the whole city. The townsfolk uncomfortably go along with the pretense, not wanting to appear inept or stupid, until a child blurts out that the emperor is wearing nothing at all. The people then realize that everyone has been fooled. Although startled, the emperor continues the procession, walking more proudly than ever.”

Now, a retelling of the story starring the EU’s “sustainable” biomass criteria:

“Swindlers from the wood pellet and biomass industry arrive in the EU, which burns wood lavishly for renewable energy at the expense of its forests.  Posing as knowledgeable about forests and climate, and working with complicit European Commission insiders, they promise to supply EU policymakers who are genuinely concerned about saving forests and the climate with detailed and complex forest biomass sustainability criteria that will protect forests and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions – but that only the most intelligent policymakers will be able to understand how the very complex new rules work.  The EU hires them and they go to work, crafting an ever more detailed set of criteria. The new rules are included in the Renewable Energy Directive, and while some policymakers realize that the rules are a hollow sham designed to provide cover for  continued liquidation of forests into the atmosphere, they go along to get along, perhaps fearing they’ll be accused of simply not understanding the complex new rules. A few environmental organizations and scientists call out the new rules as hollow and meaningless, but EU policymakers continue to proudly insist that the new rules are meaningful… and business as usual continues.”

We hope for a different ending to the story: that policymakers recognize the “sustainability” criteria are a sham that will never protect forests and the climate, and thus find the courage to stand up to the biomass industry to remove forest biomass from the RED altogether.

Click here to see full comments from PFPI on the draft implementing act for the biomass criteria.

The Emperor’s New Clothes
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