8 April 2021 – BioMonitor partner the European Forest Institute (EFI) was one of the five bioeconomy experts that gave a presentation on a webinar entitled, “Biomass-based Carbon Sinks: Carbon neutrality 2050”, which was organised by Bioenergy Europe and the European Biochar Industry.
“Fighting climate change has become the greatest responsibility of our times and this is why in Europe we have set our objective: to become the first carbon neutral continent by 2050.”
This was the opening statement of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, a few months ago at the virtual TED conference. For carbon neutrality, or net-zero emissions, to work, Europe must go beyond conventional mitigation measures. It should also look into developing a large carbon sink that is able to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. But what can this be?
European forests have been acting as an important carbon sink for decades. Dr. Hans Verkerk from EFI talked about the potential and challenges of European forests in climate change mitigation. His presentation highlighted the need for Climate-Smart Forestry, which considers that climate change mitigation and adaptation measures must go hand-in-hand. He also spoke about the role of new wood-based products in mitigating climate change, as these can provide substitution benefits, and which have been analysed in a BioMonitor’s case study (to be released soon).
Other topics that have been showcased during the webinar include the policies related to climate neutrality, and other alternative biomass-based carbon sinks such as bioenergy coupled with carbon capturing and storage, and biochar.