11,607 of 25,000 signatures

To the European Commission

This petition is run by the European Federation for Transport and Environment

Message to the European Commission

This message will be delivered in your name in the official consultation process of the European Commission:

For many years, EU policies have encouraged types of bioenergy that increase emissions compared to fossil fuels and exacerbate pressure on forest biodiversity. Member States are subsidising this harmful industry to the tune of billions of euros every year.

The hugely negative unintended consequences of using crops to produce biofuels for cars have already been recognised for years now, but the impacts of the EU’s incentives for burning forest biomass are no less alarming or counterproductive.

Harvesting forests for energy will typically increase GHG emissions compared to fossil fuels for decades or even centuries regardless of how sustainably the forests in question were managed. The requirements regarding Sustainable Forest Management and land use accounting are in no way a proxy for the climate impacts of burning specific feedstocks.

Unless and until the EU seriously reforms its bioenergy policies they will continue to undermine climate, air quality, and biodiversity objectives and our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, and cause serious harm to the EU’s international reputation.

As a concerned EU citizen, I ask you when reviewing the Renewable Energy Directive to make the European Green Deal a reality by ending EU support for burning trees and crops for energy.

Why is this important?

When you think 'renewables' you probably think of solar panels and wind turbines. The truth is that in Europe almost 60% of what we call 'renewables' is actually wood and crops. [1] Yes! European dirty coal power plants now burn trees and crops on a mass scale. The EU calls it green energy and subsidises it.

We can change this. EU leaders are rethinking the law that allows this to happen.

This law is a disaster for the environment. To get the subsidies, enormous businesses which clear our remaining forests and plough the little that remains of our meadows and grasslands are popping up. And our old, dirty, coal plants are magically converted into 'clean energy’ plants. All this subsidised with our tax money.

Before they change this law, the European Commission wants to know what people in Europe think. We have until Tuesday to tell them. If we show that thousands of taxpayers do not want their money to subsidise burning forests and food, the Commission will be more likely to change the law.

EU subsidies go to the producers of the “green fuels”. That’s why perfectly healthy trees are cut, turned into pellets, transported to a power plant and burned as “green” energy. The area of the forests in Europe, where trees are cut for industrial purposes, increased by 0,37 million hectares in the last decade. [2] Not to mention all the wood imported to the EU from all corners of the world which causes deforestation there. [3]

It’s the same with crops, in particular corn: it too, is cut and burned. Because of the subsidies, vast fields of corn are popping up everywhere in Europe, pushing out other crops and destroying our last meadows and grasslands with their unique diversity of plants and flowers, insects and small animals. [4] And the prices of land skyrocket. It makes no sense and yet our tax money supports it.

Our community has always cared for Europe’s forests and food production. From defending forests in Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania [5], to wanting to revolutionise the EU’s agriculture [6], we have mobilised endless times to protect our environment. This time, we can do both at once: save forests and crops from ruthless devastation.

The name of each person signing the petition will be submitted directly to the European Commission in their official consultation process. [7] The more names we have, the more powerful our voice.


  1. https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication/brochures-leaflets/brief-biomass-energy-european-union
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01848-x
  3. A recent article: https://news.mongabay.com/2020/08/are-forests-the-new-coal-global-alarm-sounds-as-biomass-burning-surges/ and a more detailed report: https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/biosustain_report_final.pdf
  4. https://ec.europa.eu/environment/archives/life/publications/lifepublications/lifefocus/documents/grassland.pdf
  5. Romania: https://you.wemove.eu/campaigns/romania-save-europe-s-last-large-virgin-forests, Bulgaria: https://act.wemove.eu/campaigns/Save-the-Kresna-Gorge, Poland: https://act.wemove.eu/campaigns/defend-forest
  6. https://act.wemove.eu/campaigns/withdraw-cap
  7. https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12553-EU-renewable-energy-rules-review/public-consultation

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