E.U. Agroenergy Policy: A Foreseeable Disaster
- by Josh Schlossberg, The Biomass Monitor
In a misguided attempt to allegedly tackle runaway climate change, the European Union (E.U.) is implementing policy that would increase carbon dioxide emissions, displace native peoples, threaten public health, and degrade forests and watersheds.
A new report, A Foreseeable Disaster: The European Union’s agroenergy policies and the global land and water grab, demonstrates that schemes to convert plants and trees into electricity, liquid fuels, and heat, a.k.a. agroenergy or agromass, will do more harm than good.
The report, written by Helena Paul and published in July 2013 by Transnational Institute, Centre for Research and Documentation Chile-Latin America (FDCL), and Econexus for Hands off the Land Alliance, challenges an expansion of European agroenergy by “critically analysing the origins, claims, and effects of the European Union’s (EU) transition to a new bioeconomy.”
Agromass, a subset of biomass, consists of “so-called wastes and residues from agriculture and forestry (for example, waste products from oil palm plantations: oil palm shells, empty fruit bunches, palm fronds, trunks, palm kernel shells and mesocarp fibres).” Major components of agromass are wood chips and pellets—which utilize whole trees, treetops and limbs—grasses, agricultural crops and agricultural residues. Agromass can also include municipal solid waste and sewage.