- The REA has welcomed the Environmental Audit Committee’s new report on ‘Seeing the wood for the trees: the contribution of the forestry and timber sectors to biodiversity and net zero goals’;
- The report criticises the lack of progress in delivering its tree planting targets and points out the importance of maintaining a bioenergy sector to provide additional revenue to promote woodland creation;
- The REA calls on Government to do more to boost biomass production and development of bioeconomy.
The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) has welcomed a new report by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) that has been published today titled ‘Seeing the wood for the trees: the contribution of the forestry and timber sectors to biodiversity and net zero goals’.
With the growing demand for woodland in the UK, the report criticises that the current rate of tree planting may not meet the Government’s target to plant 30,000 hectares by March 2025. The committee recognises the importance of woodland creation to help deliver the UK’s net zero goal, using timber that must be sustainably sourced to produce low-carbon construction materials and biomass to generate power.
The REA calls on the Government to take on the recommendations made by the committee to boost biomass production and the development of the bioeconomy.
Mark Sommerfeld, Deputy Director of Policy at the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA), said:
“The REA welcomes the publication of the Environmental Audit Committee Report today, which highlights the Governments lack of progress in delivering its tree planting and forestry management targets. The report recommendations reflect the need to promote a sustainable forestry industry, one that is rewarded for the products it produces and is appropriately incentivised and regulated to grow sustainably.
“We particularly welcome the report’s recognition of the ongoing role bioenergy will play as an end market for low-value forestry products, utilising residual wood waste streams from the wider timber industry. Bioenergy markets for such feedstock provide additional revenue to landowners and forest managers, while also contributing to the decarbonisation of UK power, heat, and transport sectors.
“The REA welcomes the focus the committee places on ensuring that sustainability governance arrangements for biomass feedstocks remain strong and we support the calls for an increase in the amount of biomass feedstocks grown in the UK. Government should take forward these recommendations as they develop their new Land Use Strategy and publish their much-delayed Biomass Strategy, both of which will play a crucial role in continuing the development of the UK bioeconomy while helping us meet our tree planting targets.”
The Environmental Audit Committee report can be read here.