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DENMARK MINISTER EXPRESSES CONCERN ON EFFECTS OF MASS WOOD BURNING OF ESTONIAN FORESTS

Yesterday, EMA received a response to the letter of 313 Estonians to the Danish people and decision-makers from Danish Minister of Climate Dan Jørgensen. The Minister expressed concern about the impact of Danish biomass use on Estonian forests and referred to the decision made by a majority of Danish parliamentary parties in June to divert biomass consumption to wood harvested from areas where carbon stocks are stable or increasing. According to the Environmental Agency, however, the carbon stock of Estonian forests is in a long-term and continuous decline. 

The Danish Minister of Climate confirmed that he shares the concerns of Estonians and referred to the stricter requirements accompanying the renewal of the Renewable Energy Directive. However, the latter are considered insufficient by specialists. According to Minister Jørgensen, the Danish government has also commissioned an analysis to find out the long-term effects of reducing the use of wood for heating and electricity. However, such an action plan is far from the sharp recommendation of the European Academy of Sciences to drastically reduce biomass-based energy production. 

Frans Timmermans, Senior Vice-President of the European Parliament, has promised to improve biomass energy legislation in the coming year. This, too, can significantly change the trends of the world’s forest and energy policy, including Estonia’s. According to EMA, the European Union should act in accordance with the EU Green Agreement, which dictates: “Further emission reductions are a difficult task. This will require substantial public investment and greater efforts to channel private capital into climate and environmental action, while avoiding the perpetuation of unsustainable practices. “

“Currently, there is a risk that unsustainable practices will become entrenched, as countries have already made large-scale investments in biomass-based energy use and concluded significant sustainability agreements, otherwise the Union’s renewable energy targets will not be met,” said Martin Luiga, EMA International Communications Specialist. “Nor can the Member States be directly accused of following European Union policies, even though they could and perhaps even should have called for better policies. But the issue of mass burning of wood is one of those that really requires the decisive intervention of the European Union Center – which means, among other things, acknowledging its mistakes and mending them decisively. “

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