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Forests in south-east Asia: Can they be saved?

11-09-2020

Nowhere in the world are forests shrinking faster than in south-east Asia. Rapid population growth and economic development put intense pressure on the environment. Between 1990 and 2020, an area larger than Germany was deforested, over half of it in Indonesia. Land clearing for agriculture is the main cause of deforestation. Driven by booming global demand, oil palm plantations have spread into formerly forested land, especially in Indonesia and Malaysia, which are the world's largest producers. ...

Nowhere in the world are forests shrinking faster than in south-east Asia. Rapid population growth and economic development put intense pressure on the environment. Between 1990 and 2020, an area larger than Germany was deforested, over half of it in Indonesia. Land clearing for agriculture is the main cause of deforestation. Driven by booming global demand, oil palm plantations have spread into formerly forested land, especially in Indonesia and Malaysia, which are the world's largest producers. Logging, much of it illegal, is also a serious threat to the region's forests. Deforestation destroys the habitats of iconic large mammals such as the orang-utan and tiger, as well as thousands of lesser-known, but still vital, animal and plant species; it also contributes to climate change. Smoke from fires on forested and cleared land causes economic disruption and thousands of premature deaths. Worrying though all this is, there are tentative signs of change. With international encouragement, south-east Asian governments are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of balanced development. Significant efforts are being made to protect forests and to make timber and palm oil production more sustainable. Perhaps reflecting such efforts, the pace of deforestation in most countries has come down slightly since a mid-2010s peak. However, it is too early to say whether this improvement can be sustained. The EU has played a leading role in helping south-east Asian countries to curb deforestation, for example by helping them to tackle illegal logging. It has also revised its biofuels policy to ensure that European demand for palm oil does not exacerbate the problem.

The EU, a world leader in fighting climate change

29-05-2018

The European Union is at the forefront of international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus safeguard the planet's climate. Greenhouse gases (GHG) – primarily carbon dioxide but also others, including methane and chlorofluorocarbons – trap heat in the atmosphere, leading to global warming. Higher temperatures then act on the climate, with varying effects. For example, dry regions might become drier while, at the poles, the ice caps are melting, causing higher sea levels. In 2016, ...

The European Union is at the forefront of international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus safeguard the planet's climate. Greenhouse gases (GHG) – primarily carbon dioxide but also others, including methane and chlorofluorocarbons – trap heat in the atmosphere, leading to global warming. Higher temperatures then act on the climate, with varying effects. For example, dry regions might become drier while, at the poles, the ice caps are melting, causing higher sea levels. In 2016, the global average temperature was already 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels.

Autor extern

Klugman, Cornelia;

EU sustainability criteria for bioenergy

29-08-2017

Bioenergy, which is generally produced from plants such as agricultural crops or trees, comes in various forms. Wood and other solid biomass are commonly used for heating and electricity generation. Liquid biofuels for transport and other purposes are mainly made from food and feed crops, but can also be produced from waste and residues. Bioenergy can also be delivered in the form of gas. Bioenergy is a renewable but finite energy source, and considered as climate-friendly because the carbon which ...

Bioenergy, which is generally produced from plants such as agricultural crops or trees, comes in various forms. Wood and other solid biomass are commonly used for heating and electricity generation. Liquid biofuels for transport and other purposes are mainly made from food and feed crops, but can also be produced from waste and residues. Bioenergy can also be delivered in the form of gas. Bioenergy is a renewable but finite energy source, and considered as climate-friendly because the carbon which is emitted during combustion was removed from the atmosphere during growth of the biomass and will be removed again after some time if new plants are grown. However, its production and use has environmental impacts and the climate benefits may vary. The existing Renewable Energy Directive sets mandatory sustainability and greenhouse gas saving criteria for biofuels. For forest biomass, the Commission issued recommendations, but these are not uniformly implemented in the Member States. In November 2016, the Commission proposed a revised Renewable Energy Directive which includes mandatory sustainability criteria for both biofuels and biomass. The European Parliament supports sustainability criteria for bioenergy, and highlighted the sustainability issues of forest biomass in its June 2016 resolution on renewable energy. Stakeholder reactions to the Commission proposal have been mixed. While environmental NGOs called for stricter criteria, the bioenergy industries warned that tighter limits on conventional biofuels hinder the decarbonisation of the transport sector. Farmers and forest owners expressed concern about additional economic and administrative burden and stressed the principle of subsidiarity in forest policies.

Research for TRAN Committee - Transport and Tourism in Sweden

28-07-2017

This overview of the transport and tourism sectors in Sweden was prepared to provide information for the mission of the Transport and Tourism Committee to Sweden (17-19 July 2017).

This overview of the transport and tourism sectors in Sweden was prepared to provide information for the mission of the Transport and Tourism Committee to Sweden (17-19 July 2017).

Recycling Agricultural, Forestry & Food Wastes and Residues for Sustainable Bioenergy and Biomaterials (Part of the Project 'Technology Options for Feeding 10 Billion People')

15-07-2013

The purpose of this study is to examine and review biorefinery technology options that exist to convert biomass in the form of agricultural crop and forestry residues and waste from the whole food chain into biomaterials and bioenergy. It assesses the technological options, including the sustainability of the processes involved. The study forms part of a bigger project commissioned by the European Parliament’s STOA (‘Science and Technology Options Assessment’) office under the heading of ‘Technology ...

The purpose of this study is to examine and review biorefinery technology options that exist to convert biomass in the form of agricultural crop and forestry residues and waste from the whole food chain into biomaterials and bioenergy. It assesses the technological options, including the sustainability of the processes involved. The study forms part of a bigger project commissioned by the European Parliament’s STOA (‘Science and Technology Options Assessment’) office under the heading of ‘Technology options for feeding 10 billion people’. Advanced biofuels and innovative bio-based pathways based on wastes and residues show considerable potential and should be further developed especially as Europe is already seen by some as having a lead in relevant technologies. However, there are also considerable uncertainties for investors and indeed all market participants and thus a major task is to ensure good transparency and better information concerning the availabilities of the waste and residue streams, the opportunities for processing, and the benefits to consumers. In addition, because, by definition, bio-based economic developments necessarily interact with ecosystems, there has to be visible assurance that the bio-products are indeed environmentally preferable with respect to GHG emissions, water, soil and biodiversity compared with their fossil-based counterparts. The conclusion is thus encouragement should be given to this sector, but with enhanced transparency of all aspects of its development, and with equally strong sustainability safeguards.

Autor extern

Bettina Kretschmer (Project Leader), Claire Smith, Emma Watkins, Ben Allen, Allan Buckwell, Jane Desbarats and Daniel Kieve

Research on: Forests

02-07-2013

'Research on: forests' is organised around a concise, scene-setting introduction and statistical snapshot, followed by an annotated list of relevant sources, classified in thematic sections (key overviews and statistics, forests and the Common Agricultural Policy, EU forestry-related actions, wood energy, forests and climate change, etc.).

'Research on: forests' is organised around a concise, scene-setting introduction and statistical snapshot, followed by an annotated list of relevant sources, classified in thematic sections (key overviews and statistics, forests and the Common Agricultural Policy, EU forestry-related actions, wood energy, forests and climate change, etc.).

Briefing Note on UNFCCC – COP 14 in Poznan (December 2008)

14-11-2008

Executive summary Ahead of the Poznań Conference (COP14, CMP4) in December there are four key issues or ‘hot topics’: i) sectoral approaches; ii) Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF); iii) Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries (REDD); and iv) financing and development. [...]

Executive summary Ahead of the Poznań Conference (COP14, CMP4) in December there are four key issues or ‘hot topics’: i) sectoral approaches; ii) Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF); iii) Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries (REDD); and iv) financing and development. [...]

Autor extern

Noriko Fujiwara (Research Fellow Centre for European Policy Studies - CEPS, Brussels, Belgium) with the contribution of Monica Alessi (CEPS), Christian Egenhofer (CEPS) and Anton Georgiev (CEPS)

International Forest Policy : Integrated Climate and Forestry Policy Options - The Implications of Carbon Financing for pro-poor Community Forestry : How do we Design Forest Policy Tools to Jointly Address Climate Change, Environmental and Development Goals ? (Which Forest Policy to Address Climate Change, Environmental and Development Goals ?)