Climate Change & Energy

Our Work

Biomass currently provides a significant proportion of Europe’s renewable energy, but there are questions over the sustainability of this in terms of wider environmental impacts, efficiency of resource use and level of resulting greenhouse gas emission reductions. Delivering environmentally responsible bioenergy requires the consideration of a wide range of interrelated factors, including: existing uses of biomass; direct and indirect land use impacts; understanding waste management and residue use; environmental, social and economic consequences; as well as trade and inter-institutional factors across a wide range of sectors.

IEEP’s work in this area aims to improve the sustainability of bioenergy policies, given that this is an important part of Europe’s future energy policy as well as essential for the resource efficiency agenda.

IEEP takes a multi-disciplinary approach to assessing these complex relationships, focussing on the interconnectivity of impacts across sectors as diverse as food production, waste management, energy and transport. With expertise in agriculture, forestry, economics, energy, trade and environmental policy IEEP is able to take a trans-disciplinary look at bioenergy and its potential role in the future. We were one of the first organisations to raise, at the EU level, the indirect land use change (ILUC) impacts resulting from EU biofuel use, and our work on the carbon debt of bioenergy has helped to increase consideration of sustainability in the use of solid biomass. Our work involves research into the most sustainable means of delivering bioenergy as well as offering advice to EU and Member State law-makers, academics, regulatory authorities, industry and NGOs.

Latest in Bioenergy

  • Moving the debate on sustainable bioenergy to 2030

    On 30th November, the European Commission published a “Winter package” of policy proposals, including for bioenergy in the form of a revised Renewable Energy Directive. Although encouraging to answer the many requests for policy certainty, a number of key questions about the right and most appropriate approach to deliver sustainable bioenergy still remain and need further scrutiny.

  • The Manual: Chapter 3 - Climate change

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. This chapter on EU climate change policy outlines the initial EU programme to stabilise CO2 emissions in the EU with explanations of the directives, decisions and legislation that were employed to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions.

  • Ministers place biofuels in a policy vacuum

    Energy Ministers today failed to agree reforms to the EU laws that promote the use of biofuels for transport. Current EU legislation is flawed and unfit for the purpose of delivering verifiable greenhouse gas emission reductions from the transport sector.

  • Systemic approach to adaptation to climate change and renewable energy harnessing (Biomass and Mini-hydro)

    Biochar has the potential to both mitigate greenhouse gases, and to act as an adaptation measure in terms of responding to the impacts of climate change. Based on its compatibility with the appropriate soil properties, it could increase the resilience of soil to erosion.

  • Mandatory Standards for Solid Biomass for Energy Increasingly Unlikely

    IEEP Analysis Briefing: Energy