Mark Sommerfeld, Policy Manager of the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA), said:

There is agreement across science-led and peer reviewed energy scenarios that Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) has a necessary role to play in keeping the world in line with the 1.5 degrees Paris Agreement.

“Internationally, the IPCC and International Energy Agency have demonstrated how its use fits in with a sustainable land use practices. In the UK the Climate Change Committee have modelled how negative emissions, delivered through bioenergy use in conjunction with strong sustainability governance arrangements, are critical to achieving the UK’s net zero emissions energy system. 

“Such bodies have also engaged and endorsed science based carbon accounting rules which appropriately consider life cycle emissions including those coming from the land sector, growth biomass and its use for energy  production. In the meantime, real world data demonstrates that areas where sustainable biomass is being sourced have seen increased forest carbon stocks.

Recent campaigns that raise doubts about the sustainability of BECCS, and bioenergy more generally, are again failing to engage with the existing governance arrangements and industry practices that are in place to ensure that bioenergy is done right and that emissions saving delivered can be verified. It is simply not the case that meeting net zero requires an ‘either/or’ approach to BECCS or other renewable technologies. The simple reality is that realising net zero is going to mean utilising all options, working together, within a comprehensive energy system that prioritises both rapid carbon reductions and negative emissions. “