"The final measure of the effectiveness of the Lisbon Strategy will be whether it improves European forest companies’ operating conditions. The strategy’s good points concerning sustainable growth and ensuring competitiveness must be translated into action. Otherwise the threat of carbon leakage or the shifting of production to countries with laxer climate objectives will become reality," says Riku Eksymä, Director for EU Affairs at the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.
Energy and climate matters in the spotlight
"Matters related to energy and particularly bioenergy are important for us, since Finland must take advantage of the possibilities offered by diversified use of wood," Eksymä says.
"EU legislation must support the use of the forest industries’ renewable, environmentally friendly and recyclable products. The branch’s energy-efficient and clean production offers solutions to meet climate and energy challenges."
By July the member states must submit plans to the EU showing how they intend to achieve objectives regarding renewable energy. The Commission will also work on criteria concern the sustainability of biomass, since the use of food crops to produce energy has raised lots of questions, for example.
Decisions will have long-term effects
"The use of natural resources and biodiversity will also receive attention during the Spanish Presidency. Water will be one focus of discussion," Eksymä says. "The decisions that are outlined now will have effects reaching far into the future, so all EU activity must build preconditions for competitiveness."
More information: Riku Eksymä, Director for EU Affairs, Finnish Forest Industries Federation