Sustainability and governance of bioenergy supply chains
Parallel event at the European Biomass Conference
Sustainability of liquid and solid biofuels production is under continued scrutiny, including topics such as iLUC, food vs. fuel, forest carbon accounting and sustainable forest management principles. Sustainability criteria and metrics differ between feedstock and final end use (road transport vs. heat & power, size of end-use, no criteria for aviation, shipping & materials yet).
At the same time, the public debate on bioenergy is heated, partly due to different views on governance, and the partial or perceived failure of systems to ensure the sustainability of bioenergy supply chains. Obviously, definitions of ‘sustainable bioenergy’ also depend on different views and perceptions of stakeholders, both within and outside the value chains, and this may confuse the discussion.
To address the respective challenges, the IEA Bioenergy inter-task project on “Measuring, governing and gaining support for sustainable bioenergy supply chains” is pursuing three main objectives:
- To provide an overview and examples of calculation methods & tools to assess the sustainability of various biomass and bioenergy supply chains and discuss needs, possibilities and limitations of global, uniform/harmonized framework.
- To compare and assess the legitimacy, including effectiveness and efficiency of a variety of approaches on how to govern and verify sustainability of biomass and bioenergy supply chains in different conditions.
- To understand the positions and underlying motivations of stakeholder groups relative to their perceptions of bioenergy and inform dialogues/discussions to avoid misconceptions and gain trust in bioenergy.
This project was started in mid-2016, and under the three objectives, a multitude of studies have been initiated, focusing largely on agriculture, forestry and biogas. These have now yielded results to be shared and discussed with participants of EUBCE 2018.
Given the ongoing discussions on sustainability and governance of bioenergy supply chains in the RED-II negotiations, the aims of this side event are two-fold:
- To share project results of the work carried out on governance and stakeholder involvement with an audience from industry, policy, science, and civil society.
- To discuss existing and new approaches for governance – the way forward.