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’.