Target: Karmenu Vella, Commissioner of the European Commission
Goal: Stop cutting down trees and making climate change worse in order to provide biomass energy.
On November 30th, the European Commission unveiled a plan which proposes new rules for their clean energy transition. According to many environmental groups, these new rules do very little to change the issues posed by Europe’s current energy usage, especially in relation to biomass burning.
As climate change continues, and becomes even more apparent, countries will hopefully work harder and harder to find new, sustainable, alternative energy sources. This move towards alternative energy sources in many places has already begun, but even some of these new found, often “sustainable” energy forms have extremely negative effects on the environment. One of these forms of energy is referred to as biomass burning. It is exactly what is sounds like: the process of burning organic material in order to create energy to use for powering our world. Most biomass burning occurs in developing countries, from fires for cooking as well as home heating and clearing forest for grazing or farming land.
According to the Los Alamos National Lab, biomass burning is bad for the environment because it is the single largest producer of black carbon. Black carbon is an aerosol, which absorbs sunlight and directly contributes to the warming of our atmosphere. So when burning biomass, one is removing trees and other natural vegetation which help to absorb carbon, and burning them, which ends up producing carbon that is directly known to increase our atmospheric temperature.
Many countries in the European Union, however, are using biomass burning as an alternative energy source to coal or other fossil fuels. This creates a huge problem because it increases the amount of black carbon going into the atmosphere and decreases the already very low forest cover of many European countries.
Please sign the petition below to urge the European Union to stop relying on biomass burning.
Dear Commissioner Vella,
The current plan which the European Commission has laid out to help the transition to clean energy doesn’t solve many of the issues that your countries are facing. This is specifically true when it comes to the use of biomass burning as an energy source.
Biomass burning is an outdated, almost primitive energy source that is most commonly used in developing countries for cooking, heating and deforestation for farming/grazing land. It does not belong in a developed countries plan for a sustainable future and should be phased out of any future plans involving alternative energy sources.
Burning biomass is the world’s largest producer of black carbon, which directly heats our atmosphere, causing climate change. You, as a commissioner of the European Commission, have the power to stop this outdated practice in developed countries and use your technological prowess to create/find alternative, truly sustainable energy sources for our future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Bureau of Land Management