Letter to the Commission: Finland and nine other EU Member States express their concern over the proposed revisions to the bioenergy sustainability criteria

News - Published 21.1.2022

Just before the informal meeting of energy ministers in Amiens, France, on 21–22 January, Finland and nine other EU Member States submitted a letter to the European Commission and to the French Presidency expressing their concerns about the bioenergy sustainability criteria.

The Commission presented its revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) only two weeks after the directive’s newly adopted provisions on bioenergy sustainability were implemented in national legislation. Therefore, as pointed out in the letter, it is too early to revise the bioenergy sustainability provisions.

The proposed revision also introduces additional controversial requirements on bioenergy and increases the administrative burden and cost considerably. According to the signatories, the Commission’s new proposal fails to sufficiently take into account the national characteristics concerning forest management practices, geographical location and the energy production of the Member States.

As stated in the letter, potential challenges related to forest use and biodiversity need to be solved primarily by other means than amending bioenergy sustainability criteria legislation again.

The letter also expresses particular concern about the EU’s investment certainty. There is a clear risk that frequent revisions and new requirements send investors a message to avoid investments in bioenergy just when investments are most needed for the EU’s ambitious climate targets and green energy transition.

The letter was signed by the responsible ministers of Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovenia. On behalf of Finland, the letter was signed by Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.

Jukka Ihanus, State Secretary to Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä, tel. +358 29 504 7 259
Riku Huttunen, Director-General, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 431 6518
Eero Karjalainen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 501 7746 (EU energy coordination within the Ministry)
Ville Niemi, Senior Specialist, Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU, Brussels, tel. +32 479 470 175

Press release from Finland’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 21.1.2022

Tags: bioenergy, energy