The forest-based sector is the bioenergy driver described by the European Commission

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The European Commission presents ambitious targets to increase the use of renewable energy in the energy package published on 10 January. Special emphasis is placed on bioenergy, in which the European forest industry has long been an engine of growth.

Patience is a virtuein setting targets for bioenergy

Increasing the production of bioenergy in a sustainable way requires sensible use of biomass. There is only a limited supply of biomass, such as wood, so its use must be focused on products with a high added value that meet consumers’ needs. Wood that is unsuitable for processing, on the other hand, can be used to meet energy needs. Promoting the production of bioenergy should be based on the market economy instead of subsidies that are expensive for society and consumers.

Finland and Europe cannot afford to smoke jobs

The Commission’s communication estimates that the increased production of renewable energy will create over 140 000 new jobs in Europe. Bioenergy objectives should be balanced with biomass processing industry. It is important to make sure that bioenergy objectives do not threaten the 3 million existing jobs in the wood-processing sector. The objectives should also safeguard all forest industry’s production, expertise built around our strategic natural resource and the welfare received from them.

The success of the forest industry automatically feeds the production of bioenergy. Forest industry uses wood efficiently both for processing and bioenergy. Burning a raw material that is suitable for processing would be a giant step backwards in sustainable development. The Finnish forest industries’ export products, paper and wood products that can be converted into energy at the end of their life cycle, are in fact a bioenergy pipeline to Central Europe and other parts of the world.

Background information for news desks:

Finland is in the vanguard of bioenergy production

The industrial revolution launched by the Commission emerges from industry

The changes desired by the Commission, for example in energy efficiency and climate issues, can ultimately be achieved through industry’s expertise and new innovations and investments.

The Commission’s positive attitude towards nuclear energy is a welcome sign of realism in energy and climate policy. The next step towards a better energy policy would be to get rid of numerous overlapping regulatory mechanisms.

Background information for news desks:

Resolving climate issues requires global action  and Commissioner Verheugen’s energy-climate initiative is most welcome

Additional information:

Anders Portin, Senior Vice President,
Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 6610

Stefan Sundman, Director, Energy and Infrastructure,
Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 6611

Ahti Fagerblom, Counsellor, Energy Policy,
Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 6667