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USIPA expresses disappointment over biomass court ruling appeal

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The US Industrial Pellet Association (USIPA) has expressed disappointment that a recent European court ruling regarding the inclusion of biomass in the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED) is being appealed.

A group of six individuals and NGOs first filed a lawsuit in 2019, claiming that the use of forest biomass increases greenhouse gas emissions. The European Court of Justice dismissed the case in May, ruling that the plaintiffs ‘lacked standing’ to challenge the EU’s inclusion of biomass in the RED, which was welcomed by USIPA.

At the time, Seth Ginther, executive director of the USIPA, said he “welcomed” the court’s ruling, as it removed “unnecessary uncertainty over the future of renewable energy in Europe”.

The upper court will now hear the plaintiff’s appeal solely on the issue of whether or not the lower court was correct in its application of long-settled EU law and precedent related to standing.

“This last-ditch effort to appeal the lower court’s decision on standing (which is based on long-settled international law) shows this appeal, and in fact, the entire case, is nothing more than a public relations exercise masquerading as a lawsuit,” said USIPA’s executive director, Seth Ginther.

“The multi-year process for including sustainable biomass as a form of renewable energy within RED II was one of the most transparent, inclusive and exhaustive processes available, whereby critics had the chance to vet their theories as it relates to biomass.

“After hearing all of the data, evidence and expert testimony, the EU reconfirmed what science and academia have said all along – sustainable biomass is a key component to the EU meeting its renewable energy targets. While we certainly do not want to dissuade critics from exercising all of their legal rights under international law, our industry would encourage truly constructive measures to foster dialogue and address concerns.”