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Urgent ‘shift’ needed in media approach to bioenergy

Bioenergy academia and industry representatives, who attended the European Biomass Conference & Exhibition (EUBCE), are calling on European policy makers and the media to reconsider their approach to bioenergy.

The EUBCE event recently took place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (6-9 June, 2016) and was attended by international bioenergy institutions and scientific organisations, among others.

A press release issued by EUBCE organisers said: “The attention of policy makers and media has focused too much on possible negative effects of bioenergy. Attention needs to shift to the positive results that the bio-based economy can deliver in achieving the low-carbon economy.”

The organisers also said that after decades of continuous research and technological development, a number of large-scale demonstration plants are proving that biomass can be effectively converted into energy, advanced biofuels and bio-based products.”

“Recognising the value of those good examples is fundamental to build the consensus needed for finally setting a clear, stable, European policy framework, which is still lacking, but essential to enable the widespread development of the bio-based economy,” the EUBCE organisers said.

The conference demonstrated that there are high level talents working on these issues, said André Faaij, conference general chairman in his concluding remarks.

He added: “It is now about how do we link all this good work to the right arena. Now we need to ensure close interplay and engagement of the research community, the industry and the governance arena. I would like to call upon all the key players in the field, especially international bodies such as UN, FAO, IRENA, IEA, EC, to organise the debate and to give it the focus it needs to solve the problems to progress.”

He also launched the idea to form a coalition among the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP), the Global Environment Facility, the European Commission and the Energy Coalition of the world billionaires, to discuss how to support a series of large scale demonstrations of sustainable biomass production in different settings, integrating biorefineries, BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage), and biochemicals.