The European Commission has opened a period for feedback from interested parties on the draft rules for demonstrating how forest biomass complies with the sustainability criteria laid down under Article 29 of the Renewable Energy Directive (2018/2001).
Underlining the need to ensure that forest bioenergy is produced sustainably - in line with the EU's climate and energy targets - the 2018 Directive introduces new sustainability criteria for biomass and biogas in heat and power, which also cover forest biomass. This "Implementing Regulation" lays down operational guidance for Member States and economic operators on how to demonstrate compliance with these new sustainability criteria. As well as outlining auditing and verification rules, the text establishes how to demonstrate compliance with the harvesting criteria at national or sub-national level or if necessary at the forest sourcing area level, and the compliance with land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) criteria.
The 4-week feedback period closes at midnight on 28 April 2021.
Under the Better Regulation rules, an overview of the feedback gathered will be presented to the relevant committee of Member State representatives when it considers and votes on the Implementing Regulation (probably in May). The intention is to adopt these rules before the end of the second quarter of 2021.