Forestry is a national competence and not an EU competence. Several EU policies do concern forests (environmental, agricultural, energy policies etc…) but decisions regarding sustainable forest management practices belong to Member States. In 2013, the EU institutions adopted the EU Timber Regulation which prohibits placing illegally harvested timber and products derived from such timber on the EU market. In 2013, the Commission adopted a new EU strategy for forests and forest-based sector which contains EU / Member States planned common actions as well as recommendations to Member States. Among others, this strategy foresees the Commission, Member States and Stakeholders to develop objective, ambitious and demonstrable EU sustainable forest management criteria that can be applied in different policy contexts regardless of the end use of forest biomass. An ad hoc working group was set to work on this question and published a report. The forestry sector is also concerned by the policy on emissions / removals from LULUCF (Land use, Land Use Change and Forestry). Following a decision in 2013 an establishing an accounting system, discussions should now ongoing on whether LULUCF should be part of the EU GHG emissions reduction commitment.
The role of biomass
Forestry biomass is the most important bioenergy sources and represents more than 2/3rd of EU bioenergy consumption
AEBIOM is of the views that sustainable forest management is essential to guarantee that biomass used for energy purposes is sustainable. In this framework, sustainable forest management is ensured by national legislations as well as voluntary certifications. This framework must be taken into account in the ongoing debate on biomass sustainability.