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MEP Anderson urges caution on the bio-economy

3 June, 2013 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson commenting on the vote on an EU report on the Bio-economy in the European Parliament said.

“Whilst the EU Commission and large companies seem very willing to openly and hastily embrace the use of biomass, I believe we need to introduce safeguards to ensure that sustainability criteria is taken into account and that endorsement of such a strategy does not open the floodgates to Bio-technologies which seek to promote Genetically Modified crops.

“As we head towards a point of no return for climate change, we need to ensure that what is being sold to us as 'renewable' truly is. ‘

“Decision makers need to use their heads to assess very carefully whether moving towards some of the measures outlined in this report will truly help us move towards a low-carbon economy or will, in fact, put us at risk of carbon lock-in.

“Furthermore, the ratcheting up of interest and subsequent demand in the biomass industry will require imports of biomass fuel. This poses a serious risk and concerns for the world's forests and the indigenous people who depend on them.

“There is an urgent need to be seeking alternatives to our fossil fuel addiction but we have an obligation to ensure that the alternatives that we choose live up to their expectations and are not dirty fuels dressed up as clean renewables.

“Bio-energy and biomass can have a role to play in the green economy but only if it can be proven that biodiversity is protected, local and third country societal concerns are addressed and it can be proven that they actually do produce lower GHG emissions.’

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