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Change in Sustainability Policy in the E.U. to Impact U.S. Wood Chip Exports


In accordance with the European Union Renewable Energy Directive, organic materials including biomass and wood received a subsidy to displace coal in generating plants. Critics of the policy pointed to the fallacy inherent in the program noting that even if benefits accrued to the E.U., deforestation in exporting nations would add to release of carbon dioxide impacting the entire world.



On Tuesday, May 10th a Special Committee of the European Parliament voted to change the subsidy on biomass. The decision will be submitted to the E.U. Parliament for ratification.     Eco-activist, Martin Pigeon quoted in a May 17th report in the New York Times noted, “This vote is a historic breakthrough.”  He added, “For the first time a major E.U. regulatory body has made clear that one of the E.U. most climate-wrecking policies of the last decade incentivizing the burning of forests in the name of renewable energy has to stop.”



Following the introduction of the Renewable Energy Directive, companies in the Carolinas established enterprises harvesting timber that was processed into wood chips for export to the E.U.  If the European Parliament accepts the recommendations of the Committee, which is highly likely, woodchip processing in the U.S. and other supplying nations will cease with obvious impact on local communities, but also benefits to the environment.