Supergen Bioenergy Hub informs Environmental Audit Committee Forestry Report

The Environmental Audit Committee has published the report ‘Seeing the wood for the trees: the contribution of the forestry and timber sectors to biodiversity and net zero goals’.

Director of the Supergen Bioenergy Hub, Professor Patricia Thornley provided oral evidence to the Committee inquiry into Sustainable Timber and Deforestation in November 2022.

The inquiry investigated the scaling up of the UK domestic timber sector, as well as the reduction on imports. It also examined the degree to which the UK supply chains contribute to deforestation overseas and the effectiveness of the government’s efforts to curb this.

The Supergen Bioenergy Hub also submitted a written response to the Committee inquiry addressing the question of sustainability of biomass for UK energy generation, providing scientific information on three key areas of carbon impacts, wider environmental sustainability and sustainable resource availability. It also provides a response to the question of UK scaling up its use of biomass for bioenergy generation and/or BECCS, and the proportion of domestically sourced biomass which is expected to be from woody vs. non-woody biomass sources.

Professor Patricia Thornley said:

“It was a pleasure to inform the Environmental Audit Committee on the sustainability issues highlighted in this report. There is clearly a role for both home-grown and imported forest biomass, and the Supergen Bioenergy Hub will continue to provide independent academic advice on sustainability and standards to ensure UK activity delivers real carbon reductions.

“We would like to see more progress to ensure that we’re locking up carbon here in the UK, both through increased tree planting and ensuring that accounting and certification schemes are counting carbon correctly. I welcome the government’s ongoing work in setting sustainability standards and look forward to the publication of the UK’s Biomass Strategy.”

Download the full Supergen Bioenergy Hub response in our outputs section.


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