Doubts cast on biomass impacts

Biomass can emit more CO2 per unit of energy than most fossil fuels, according to a report from think tank Chatham House, which warns against assumptions that the organic matter is carbon neutral.

Most renewable energy policies treat biomass as though it has a zero carbon footprint at the point of combustion, the report notes. The EU Renewable Energy Directive, for example, considers only supply-chain emissions from biomass and counts combustion emissions as zero.

The methodology assumes carbon has been absorbed during the growth of the trees or that the timber is harvested from a sustainably managed ...

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