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New ‘From Science to Policy’ publication


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EFI’s latest science-policy study provides insights into the current scientific debate on forest biomass, carbon neutrality and climate change mitigation. The Paris Agreement and the EU Climate and Energy Framework set ambitious but necessary targets. Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by phasing out the technologies and infrastructures that cause fossil carbon emissions is one of today’s most important challenges. In the EU, bioenergy is currently the largest renewable energy source used. Most Member States have in absolute terms increased the use of forest biomass for energy to reach their 2020 renewable energy targets.

In recent years, the issue of ‘carbon neutrality’ has been debated with regard to the bioenergy products that are produced from forest biomass. There is no clear consensus among scientists on the issue and their messages may even appear contradictory to decision-makers and citizens. Divergence arises because scientists address the issue from different points of view, which can all be valid. It is important to find agreement on some basic principles, to inform policy makers. Guidance is also needed on how the results should be interpreted.

The new From Science to Policy study, Forest biomass, carbon neutrality and climate change mitigation provides insights into the current scientific debate. It draws on the science literature to give a balanced and policy-relevant synthesis, from both an EU and global perspective.

The results of the study were presented at a ThinkForest Roundtable Discussion in Brussels on 12 October.

Further information

Göran Berndes, Bob Abt, Antti Asikainen, Annette Cowie, Virginia Dale, Gustaf Egnell, Marcus Lindner, Luisa Marelli, David Paré, Kim Pingoud and Sonia Yeh. 2016. Forest biomass, carbon neutrality and climate change mitigation. From Science to Policy 3. European Forest Institute.

The publication is freely downloadable:


The European Forest Institute is an unbiased, science-based international organisation that provides the best forest science knowledge and information for better informed policy making. The From Science to Policy series brings together cross-boundary scientific knowledge and expertise to strengthen science-policy dialogue on a focused issue.

Further information from Lauri Hetemäki,