USIPA welcomes resolution of European Forest Strategy

By U.S. Industrial Pellet Association | October 08, 2020

The U.S. Industrial Pellet Association today welcomed the European Parliament’s resolution on the "European Forest Strategy—the Way Forward."

The resolution recognizes that forests and the entire forest-based value chain are fundamental to the further development of the circular bioeconomy, helping deliver climate change mitigation and adaptation services, and protecting biodiversity.

In this resolution, the European Parliament takes a holistic approach on sustainable forest management (SFM), which builds on economic, social and environmental sustainability in a balanced way, and ensures the continuity of the multifunctional role of forests.

Maintaining a forest economy is vital for the health of forests. The biomass industry works closely with other members of the forest value chain by taking low-value fiber, for example residues and thinnings, which do not meet the specifications of other high-value forest industries, thus ensuring the best possible carbon-outcome.

We welcome, therefore, that the Parliament supports the substitution of fossil-based raw materials and energy, and promoting the most efficient use of wood following the ‘cascading principle’. To that end, we strongly oppose the Commission’s suggestion in the Biodiversity Strategy to ‘minimize whole trees’ – a term that has no proper definition in forestry – which would distort the established market-driven cascading principle with no carbon or environmental benefits. 

As its largest single source of renewable energy, sustainable woody biomass is a cornerstone of the EU’s low-carbon energy transition. We welcome the European Parliament’s call for the Commission and the Member States to continue the implementation of sustainability criteria for biomass under the recast of the Renewable Energy Directive, and to optimize the climate benefits of substituting carbon-intensive, fossil-based materials and energy.