The following open letter was sent on Thursday, February 3, 2022 to the European Commission by an international coalition of over 40 NGOs, including the EAC. The group is calling for the Commission to change rules that allow investments in biomass energy production to be labelled as sustainable. The European Union was the first to inaccurately designate large-scale biomass burning as a carbon-neutral energy source, a decision that has been mirrored and referenced in jurisdictions across the world, including here in Mi'kma'ki/Nova Scotia. For more information on the call to the European Commission, click here.
Dear President von der Leyen, Vice-President Timmermans, Vice-President Dombrovskis, and Commissioner McGuinness:
We write in regard to forestry and bioenergy criteria in the Taxonomy Climate Delegated Regulation (the “Delegated Regulation”).
As you know, in prior communications about the Delegated Regulation, numerous NGOs expressed strong concerns with these criteria, noting an absence of adequate standards to assure climate mitigation and adaptation; lack of scientific justification, review and legitimacy; a lack of internal and external controls; inclusion of numerous provisions that contravene climate and ecosystem science; and clear violations of the requirement of the Taxonomy that listed activities should “Do No Significant Harm” to other environmental objectives, among other issues.
The European Commission failed to incorporate critical input from NGOs, scientific advisors and civil society into the final Delegated Regulation. As a result, the final Delegated Regulation gives an imprimatur of “sustainability” to activities that increase greenhouse gas emissions and damage ecosystems.
Given the European Commission’s disregard for science and the public good in finalizing the forestry and bioenergy criteria, some organizations have taken initiative to request that the EC review the Delegated Regulation. We, the undersigned, support this request for internal review, and any subsequent legal challenge, should this be necessary.
As the Taxonomy Regulation points out, greenwashing is the “practice of gaining an unfair competitive advantage by marketing a financial product as environmentally friendly, when in fact basic environmental standards have not been met.” We believe this precisely describes the situation with regard to the forestry and bioenergy criteria in the Delegated Regulation, and accordingly urge the Commission to review these provisions.
Paulo Pimenta de Castro – ACRÉSCIMO, Associação de Promoção ao Investimento Florestal
Wolfgang Kuhlmann – ARA
Ronald Schout – Arnhems Peil
Mange Ram Adhana – Association For Promotion of Sustainable Development
Meredith Stanton – Australian Forests and Climate Alliance (AFCA)
Sondre Molteberg Dalen – Attac Norway
Almuth Ernsting – Biofuelwatch
Ariel Brunner – BirdLife Europe and Central Asia
Louise Morris – Blue Derby Wild
Joost Blasweiler – Bomenbond
Marjan Houpt – Bomenstichting Achterhoek
Andy Wood – Coastal Plain Conservation Group
Fenna Swart – Comite Schone Lucht NL
Jeroen Spaander – De Klimaatcoalitie
Raymond Plourde – Ecology Action Centre
Mathilde Crepy – ECOS
Marloes Spaander – EDSP ECO
Ruth Y. Story – Education, Economics, Environmental, Climate and Health Organization
J Redwood – Environment East Gippsland inc.
Gabriel Schwaderer – EuroNatur
Jan van de Pol – Federatie tegen Biomassacentrales
Hannah Mowat – Fern
Emanuele Lombardi – Fondo Forestale Italiano
Gry Bossen – Forests of the World
Zoltan Kun – Friends of Fertö lake Association
Tony Lowes – Friends of the Irish Environment
Piotr Skubisz – Instytut Spraw Obywatelskich
Marjan Houpt – Landelijk Netwerk Bossen- en Bomenbescherming
Maarten Visschers – Leefmilieu
Kęstutis Kupšys – Lithuanian Consumers Alliance
Jonas Hulsens – Milieudefensie - Friends of the Earth Netherlands
Johan Vollenbroek – Mobilisation for the Environment
Bob Bancroft – Nature Nova Scotia
Bente Hessellund Andersen – NOAH - Friends of the Earth Denmark
Directors – Bomenstichting Achterhoek
Liina Steinberg – Päästame Eesti Metsad (Save Estonia’s Forests)
Peter Riggs – Pivot Point
Jan Willem van Gelder – Profundo
Lina Burnelius – Protect the Forest Sweden
Paul Schreiber – Reclaim Finance
Eugene Simonov – Rivers without Boundaries International Coalition
Soojin Kim – Solutions For Our Climate (SFOC)
John R. Spruill – Southern Forests Conservation Coaltion
Virginia Young – The Australian Rainforest Conservation Society
Toby Aykroyd – Wild Europe
Radosław Ślusarczyk – Workshop for all Beings
- EAC Submission to the European Union 2030 Climate Plan Initiative re. the use of forest biomass - April 15, 2020
- Partnership for Policy Integrity press release on the complaint against the forestry and bioenergy criteria in the EU’s Sustainable Finance Taxonomy
- Reuters: Campaigners begin legal fight against EU green investment rules - documents