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Joint letter to Members of the European Parliament on the Post-2020 Renewable Energy Directive (RED)

deforestation bioenergy

The plenary of the European Parliament will vote on the renewed Renewable Energy Directive (RED) during the week of the 15th January. This vote could see even more policy support being directed towards destructive biofuels and biomass. We believe that neither should be classed as renewable energy. Consequently, GFC and Biofuelwatch have issued a joint letter to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) ahead of the vote, to influence the direction that this important legislation takes.

You can download a copy of the letter or read it below.


Dear MEP,

We are writing to you in advance of the European Parliament plenary vote on the post-2020
Renewable Energy Directive (RED) during the week beginning 15th January. We are deeply concerned about the role of both biofuels and wood-based bioenergy in the proposed new RED.

We believe that neither should be classified as renewable energy due to the adverse impacts that they are responsible for. These include substantial greenhouse gas emissions and harm to forests and other biodiverse ecosystems. Communities are affected by land-grabbing and food insecurity, especially in the global South. Within the EU, communities are subjected to air pollution made worse by wood-based bioenergy. These impacts are exacerbated by current EU biofuel policies.

For more information on this issue, please see a declaration signed by 132 organisations, including our own, calling for bioenergy to be excluded from the scope of the new RED:

We are particularly alarmed that the ITRE Committee has voted to reinstate a renewable energy target for transport which the European Commission had proposed not to include in the new Directive. We would urge you to vote against such a target, and for an end to all support for crop/land-based biofuels post-2020.

Across EU member states, the existing renewable energy target for the transport sector has been translated into a de facto biofuel target. Renewing and increasing the target for 2030 will perpetuate and worsen the many well-documented and disastrous impacts of EU biofuel demand. They include:

  • Overall greenhouse gas emissions that are no better and commonly worse than fossil fuels, once direct and indirect land use change and nitrous oxide emissions are accounted for;
  • Significantly greater food price volatility worldwide;
  • Severe negative impacts on biodiversity within and outside the EU, due to the expansion of industrial monocultures, and at the expense of forests, grasslands, wetlands and agro- biodiversity;
  • Increased land-grabbing, often accompanied by serious human rights abuses, especially in the
    global South;
  • Severe negative impacts on freshwater and soils.

Please see for full background information.


Global Forest Coalition


Photo credit: Mathias Rittgerott/Rainforest Rescue

11 Jan, 2018
Posted in Forests and Climate Change, Trade and other underlying causes of forest loss