By: Rubina Obaid
Presently, EU ETS only accounts for smokestack emission and the carbon emission of biomass burning at zero. Whereas, it is required to reform ETS for accounting the real effects on the CO2 level in the atmosphere.
Environmental activists and EU lawmakers introduced a requirement of measuring net carbon emission from biomass power stations. According to the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC), biomass power stations are responsible to clearly account their carbon emission and should be declared under Emission Trading System (ETS). It is a great way to keep a tab on greenhouse gas emission from the biomass power plants, which will help in monitoring their contribution to carbon emission in an accurate manner. European Commission has introduced reforms for biomass power plants and made a mandatory rule of monitoring and reporting to ETS for the period 2021 till 2030.
Presently, EU ETS only accounts for smokestack emission and the carbon emission of biomass burning at zero. Whereas, it is required to reform ETS for accounting the real effects on the CO2 level in the atmosphere. EASAC shared its statement in the news that “It should not be possible to just assume that the millions of tons of carbon-emitting from a power station stack are zero. I further added that “The ETS should be reformed to link accounting to the real effects on CO2 levels. I will require calculating the carbon payback period for each biomass facility and its supply chain. Regulators need to know how long it will take until the initial perverse effects of biomass on climate are overcome while the net reduction in atmospheric CO2 concentration is achieved.
Through accurate accounting of carbon emission tackling climate change will be much easier, and subsidies would be precisely diverted to the technologies which really contribute to controlling carbon footprints. Merely labeling forest biomass carbon neutral will leave a detrimental impact on the climate. According to the Environment Program Director at EASAC, Professor Michael Norton “Much of the biomass employed in Europe is anything but carbon neutral. Current accounting rules under the emission trading scheme let certain power plants and countries shine as climate pioneers although they actually damage the climate”
Almuth Ernsting of Biofuelwatch applauding EASAC statement saying that “Kudos to the scientists at EASAC for sounding the alarm about the climate hypocrisy of labeling forest biomass as renewable energy and letting biomass-burning power plants off the hook for their climate pollution” In response to EASAC comments, the policy director from trade body Giulia Cancian told that, biomass energy requires to comply with the renewable energy directives on the update of draft regulation of ETS rules for monitoring and recording. The most important criteria for biomass accounting is to evaluate the capability of being carbon neutral. Switching towards renewable and sustainable sources of energy is imperative to substantially mitigate carbon footprints and transform into a carbon-neutral economy by 2050, and achieve the target of net-zero emission.