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Environmental groups launch social media blast at EC members to influence post-2020 Renewable Energy Directive

Environmental organisations have used social media to try and influence European Commission members involved in the drafting of the post-2020 Renewable Energy Directive (RED).

According to environmental group Dogwood Alliance, the messages originated from at least 29 counties across five continents. The messages reached nearly 1.5 million people worldwide.

The social media action was part of the 19 October “International Day of Action on Bioenergy.” It was timed to influence the upcoming RED phase 2.

In a statement, the Dogwood Alliance said: “The EU must fundamentally change the way it treats burning wood and other biomass to generate energy so that bioenergy policies finally ‘protect our climate, crops and forests’. Contrary to their original intent, current EU policies and subsidies now result in distorted outcomes which actually harm biodiversity and worsen climate change.”

Environmental groups and their allies rallied around the #EUbioenergy and #SOSforests hashtags. They focused a barrage of messages on two key decision-makers whose bioenergy policy positions are being closely monitored around the world – European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič and Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete.

According to environmental groups, Šefčovič, Cañete, and the European Commission “must urgently fix flawed renewable energy policies that have failed to decrease carbon emissions effectively, precipitated an alarming spike in clear-cut logging of native Southeastern US forests, razed European forests and converted European grassland”. A new bioenergy policy that is based on the latest science and that better protects the environment is needed now, according to the groups.

‘Mistake’

“It has become perfectly clear that bioenergy policies have had a negative impact on our forests, communities and climate and the EU Commission is in the position to fix this mistake,” said Adam Macon, campaign director at Dogwood Alliance. “Today we stand with communities from around the world to deliver a clear message, the time is now to stop using our forests for fuel.”

“This isn’t just a European issue or a renewable energy issue,” said Debbie Hammel, director of NRDC’s Land Markets Initiative. “This is a climate issue. Chopping down trees in the US to keep the lights on in Europe is not a clean energy solution. It hastens climate change and undermines international efforts to cut carbon now.”





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