Energy and Climate Change

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energy and climate change
19 Feb.2018

CEPI becomes an associate member of the European Energy Forum

The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is now an associate member of the European Energy Forum (EEF).

The EEF provides a place for knowledge-sharing and open dialogue on energy, climate and other energy-related issues. For over 20 years, this non-profit association enables its members representing all energy-related sectors to meet, get informed and debate in a setting where all views and ideas are welcome. By promoting dialogue and exchange of expertise, the EEF wants to ensure that stakeholders with different perspectives and interests have an occasion to understand each other’s position so as to work together in a constructive way. The discussions and other activities organised by the EEF every month touch upon all issues related to energy, always adapting to new challenges in a fast-changing EU energy system. The programme of activities takes into account the EU political agenda thereby reflecting the work of the European institutions. The EEF is chaired by MEP Jerzy Buzek. It is composed of 34 Active Members (MEPs) and 83 Associate Members from energy and energy-intensive organisations.

Associate membership of the EEF will provide CEPI with a platform to represent the views of its membership in the high-level discussions on energy-related topics and provide a forum to bring to the discussion the European forest-fibre and paper industry's unique position as both an entirely renewable and recycable industry leading on the EU's circular bioeconomy transition. 

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17 Jan.2018 ,

REDII – Sustainable use of wood wins over ill-placed market distorting subsidies

The European paper industry produces from wood a multitude of value-added products such as paper, carboard and other biobased materials and uses its residues for bioenergy.

With today’s vote the EU has sought to recognise the value of sourcing wood sustainably and preventing subsidies that distort markets and encourage the burning of wood for megawatts.

The European Parliament realises that there is more value to the circular bioeconomy than turning wood into megawatts” says Sylvain Lhôte, Director General of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI).

MEPs have moved in favour of building upon existing sustainable forest management practices in Europe, the so-called “risk-based approach” rather than rendering the regulatory context more complex. At the same time ensuring that the availability of wood is taken into consideration is also a step in the right direction.

They have also sent a strong signal that the recovery of energy from waste must be strictly guided by the waste hierarchy and that the burning of paper-based material, which can be collected seperately and recycled, should be avoided.

The challenge is now in the hands of the Council to ensure that wood is used sustainably and that REDII remains consistent with the EU’s own goals of making the circular bioeconomy a reality in Europe.

Note to editor:
Guaranteeing that wood is sourced from sustainably managed forests and championing a high-performing recycling chain will be critical to securing the quantity and quality of the raw materials the industry uses as it transitions towards the low-carbon circular bioeconomy. Read more on how we can achieve this in the revised version of our ‘Investment Roadmap’.

For more information, please contact Ulrich Leberle, Raw Materials Director at u.leberle@cepi.org or by phone at (+32) 2 627 49 23
For press related enquiries, please contact Ben Kennard, Press Manager at b.kennard@cepi.org or by phone at (+32) 487 39 21 82
 

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09 Nov.2017 ,

ETS reform restores regulatory certainty but gaps remain

Following today’s inter-institutional political agreement on the Emissions Trading System (ETS) the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is broadly encouraged by improvements in the regulation for the 2021-2030 period.

The conclusion of the ETS negotiations now restores the regulatory predictability needed for advancing industrial transformation. Investments in low-carbon technologies are core to what we stand for as an industry. A more stable regime and tools such as the ETS Innovation Fund will be crucial in accelerating the industry's transition towards a low-carbon circular bioeconomy” says Sylvain Lhôte, Director General of CEPI.

The final compromise text improves significantly the scheme with a more robust stability in carbon leakage provisions and firmer predictability in reviewing the benchmark values. The Innovation Fund will also act as a crucial mechanism in advancing the breakthrough technologies that will spur the industry’s low-carbon transition.

Nonetheless, several aspects of the text are lacking and these would need to be resolved. For instance, the Market Stability Reserve (MSR) was significantly amended without any prior assessment of its impact on “industrial competitiveness and the risk of carbon leakage”, even though this was an explicit requirement when amending the MSR decision. Likewise, no solution was found to effectively ensure compensation for indirect costs for exposed energy intensive installations. Finally, while the risk of a shortfall in free credits has been mitigated it has not been structurally eradicated thereby causing unnecessary regulatory risks. The impact of all of the above-mentioned aspects will become more evident by 2021, when all implementing legislation will be finalised. It is therefore imperative to swiftly finalise the full regulatory landscape by adopting all the implementing acts well ahead of 2021.

Note to editor:

Ensuring that the ETS also functions as a pro-investment tool is a core component of the European paper industries ‘2050 Investment Roadmap’. Check out our ‘Alignment matrix’ here to see how the ETS can provide a platform for catalysing and enabling industry transformation in Europe.

For more information, please contact Nicola Rega, Climate Change and Energy Director at n.rega@cepi.org or by phone at (+32) 485 40 34 12

For press related enquiries, please contact Ben Kennard, Press Manager at b.kennard@cepi.org or by phone at (+32) 487 39 21 82

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08 Sep.2017 ,

Renewable Energy Directive: CEPI analysis of sustainability criteria for solid biomass fuels in the European Commission proposal for a Directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewables (recast)

The sustainable forest management framework has evolved and strengthened over time balancing a market based demand for wood products and bioenergy with the other environmental and climate functions of the forest. More recently, the EU policy framework to support the use of energy from renewable sources has led to a strong increase of bio-energy use within short timeframes. The increased demand has led to rising imports of wood. To ensure the sustainability of the policy induced increase of bioenergy use and wood imports, the following issues have to be considered:

• Do the needs for wood biomass lead to any of the following critical consequences: resource depletion, land conversion, negative impacts on biodiversity?

• Is the direct burning of wood biomass an efficient use of a raw material that could first be used for higher value purposes?

• How could monitoring, reporting and verification ensure carbon sustainability?

CEPI believes that the Commission proposal provides in principle an appropriate response to the challenges caused by a policy induced increase in the use of biomass for energy.

CEPI welcomes the following principles:

1. Solid biomass fuels would only count towards the renewable energy targets if they comply with a number of forest management, LULUCF and greenhouse gas savings, and end use conversion efficiency criteria.

2. CEPI welcomes that the criteria are applied equivalently based on the type of biomass used and independently on which physical form (solid, gaseous or liquid) of the biofuels, bioliquids or biomass fuels produced.

3. There is a risk based approach for forest management and GHG criteria starting from the country level. Only if no evidence can be provided at country level, the forest holding level is considered. We believe however that an operator should have the possibility to assess the risk and proof sustainability at higher than forest holding level, if necessary information is available. The risk management system and the criteria refer to existing legislation, such as LULUCF accounting and environmental legislation.

4. The principle that the emissions from biogenic carbon are accounted as neutral in the energy sector is maintained as they are assumed to be already accounted in the LULUCF sector. We believe however, that for countries where emissions from LULUCF are not accounted, the criterion should be covered by the forest management criteria, especially the criterion that the long term production capacity of the forest is maintained.

5. Support to new conversions of coal based power stations to biomass with low efficiency would be ended from 2020. CEPI believes however, that Member States should be allowed to exempt above 20 MW installations from the CHP obligation based on climatic conditions.

6. The Commission proposes a system in which the burden of proof would be upon the energy producer rather than upon the individual forest owner. The criteria have to be fulfilled by installations of more than 20 MW fuel capacity, limiting the burden on small scale installations.

CEPI also believes that some provisions have to be improved:

1. Secure a functioning internal market: Member States should not have the possibility to go beyond the EU agreed sustainability criteria. This would hamper the functioning of the internal market and complicate the verification system.

2. Introduce meaningful LULUCF criteria at subnational level: For forest biomass from countries that do not account for LULUCF emissions it should be made clear that the core forest management criteria and especially the one on maintaining the long term production capacity of the forest should minimize the risk of LULUCF emission at the subnational level.

3. Review at the appropriate time: The review should take place in time before the post 2030 period, but a review in 2023 i.e. only after 3 years of application of the criteria is too early to be meaningful.

4. Ensure the forest management criteria are relevant, credible and implementable: CEPI proposes technical improvements to the forest management criteria at national and especially at the sublevel. CEPI is looking forward to a constructive dialogue with the European Commission services and other institutional and non-institutional stakeholders to ensure the forest management criteria are relevant, credible and implementable and will propose amendments in this respect.

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06 Sep.2017

To our roots and beyond - Reducing emissions for the 2050 society

In a first of its kind project the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) has called upon its member companies to voluntarily exhibit innovative, emissions-reducing projects that centre on increasing energy efficiency and promoting the use of renewable energy sources. The ‘To Our Roots and Beyond’ project puts the focus back on the industry’s leading role in contributing to a sustainable, low-carbon society. The project demonstates how industry is taking responsibilty in reducing its carbon emissions, as well as taking a leading role in providing bio-based solutions to decarbonise society at large. In total, the project gathers 14 innovative case studies from 10 EU countries, involving 12 companies representing a diverse array of projects. The innovative projects which focus on energy efficiency and/or renewables are indicative of the diverse means the paper industry has at its disposal to reduce emissions whilst building upon its unique strength as an entirely renewable material.

Project website: www.cepi-rootsandbeyond.org

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