Sustainability policy for biofuels

Residues from forestry and forest industry are an important, renewable source of energy for industry and society as a whole. The EU is currently developing a new sustainability policy for biofuels. Here, it is vital that any regulations are wisely framed so that they promote, rather than impede, the use of sustainable bioenergy.

Biomass from sustainable forestry is inherently sustainable. There is concern that increased use of renewable energy would intensify the use of unsustainable bioenergy. This would primarily be imported; hence the perceived need for political regulation. Swedish forest industry is both the country's largest producer and user of bioenergy. We have a long tradition of using forests sustainably and promoting the transformation of forest and forest industry residues into energy.

The Swedish Forest Industries Federation considers it is important that, at the EU level, rules on bioenergy should promote the use of renewable bioenergy. Bioenergy competitiveness would be reduced by requirements that increased the costs or labour burdens associated with bioenergy production. Such requirements might also favour alternatives that are not as good for the climate. Additionally, European regulations should support trade and a free market. At the same time, they cannot seek to regulate forestry. The latter is a matter that has to be tackled nationally.