Netherlands

Cabinet takes signals about incorrect biomass ‘of course seriously’

Photo: ANP

State Secretary Dilan Yesilgöz-Zegerius takes signals that valuable forests in Estonia are being cut down with Dutch subsidy money for the production of biomass “of course seriously”. She will thoroughly study a research report from the Foundation for Research on Multinational Enterprises (SOMO), where it is able to do so, she promises during a parliamentary debate on climate and energy.

According to the researchers, the production in Estonia of wood pellets, which may also be burned in Dutch power plants, is far from sustainable. Agreements about this would not have been fulfilled. The findings are reason for five nature organizations to withdraw their support for biomass as a sustainable energy source. They believe that subsidies should no longer be given for this immediately.

Several factions in the House of Representatives asked questions in response to the report, which was commissioned by Greenpeace. “There is nothing sustainable about burning trees,” said Christine Teunissen of the Party for the Animals. “This report reiterates that, confirming what we have seen before.” She argues for a ban on the large-scale import of so-called woody biomass.

PvdA member Joris Thijssen wants to “go one step further” than the organizations that argue for a subsidy cut. “Because I think we were just fooled.” As far as he is concerned, the State Secretary is reclaiming subsidies already provided from cheating energy companies. Yesilgöz is “of course” willing to do so, if things have not gone according to the agreements. “But let me sort that out first.”

Energie-Nederland says it has taken note of the report drawn up by SOMO and the decision of the environmental organizations to withdraw from the Covenant on Sustainable Biomass. “We are surprised that this has not been discussed or announced earlier in the consultations we have had with each other.”

The industry association also says that the matters arising from the report are incompatible with the strict sustainability requirements that have been agreed in the Netherlands. Agreements have been made to ensure that the biomass used meets these requirements. This guarantee is based on certificates approved by the government and through verification by independent experts. The energy companies therefore assume that the biomass has not been used by them, according to Energie-Nederland.



Cabinet takes signals about incorrect biomass ‘of course seriously’
Source link Cabinet takes signals about incorrect biomass ‘of course seriously’

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