The industry will be allocated emissions allowances free of charge, except in the case of electricity generated and consumed at production facilities.
EU decision makers took into consideration the needs of sectors of industry that compete internationally and thus cannot transfer the additional costs emissions trading causes into the prices of end products. The great majority of the forest industry’s emissions allowances will continue to be allocated for free, encouraging companies to continue manufacturing operations in Europe, where the efficiency of production is the greatest and causes the least emissions. With respect to climate- and energy-related targets, the world’s most efficient forest industry production facilities are located in Finland.
Throughout the legislative process, Finland insisted that the industry’s power generation should be treated as part of industrial processing. However, legislators failed to reach a shared understanding concerning the forest industry’s power generation activities.
Finnish parliamentary deputies, lead by MEP Eija-Riitta Korhola especially, proposed amendments that strongly promoted the consideration of these viewpoints together with the achievement of the EU’s climate-related objectives.
The goal of promoting the diverse and growing use of wood was included in the renewable energy directive. Considering the ongoing forest industry effort to develop biorefineries, it is good that second-generation biofuels are being viewed as an effective way to increase the utilisation of renewable energy in transport. Member States will also be allowed to decide on independent means with which to increase the production and use of renewable energy.
Finland is one of the biggest producers of renewable energy in the EU. The national energy policy of our country has been exemplary for a long time, but drawing the attention of EU energy-policy decision makers to its strengths has been an exceptionally challenging task.
Stefan Sundman, Senior Vice President (energy and environment), Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 (0)9 132 6611 or +358 (0)40 535 0501
The forest industry’s production is based on a renewable raw material that binds atmospheric carbon dioxide. The industry’s products are recyclable and at the end of their lifecycle, along with other forest biomass that is not suitable for processing, can be used to generate renewable energy.