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The UK Government has published a new Biomass Policy Statement, setting out the strategic aims for the role of biomass across the UK economy in the short, medium and long term to deliver towards net zero. The publication of this new statement on COP26 Energy Day recognises the critical role bioenergy plays in delivering both global and the UK’s Net Zero targets.

The Biomass Policy Statement follows a recent Call for Evidence to help develop the policies needed to make the best use of biomass across the economy in support of Net Zero. Both of these will in turn inform the UK’s upcoming Biomass Strategy, due to be published in late 2022.

Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, CEO of Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA), said:

“The REA firmly welcomes the Government’s reasserted policy commitment to the use of biomass in the UK, recognising the critical role bioenergy plays in delivering the 1.5⁰C Paris Agreement and the UK’s own Net Zero targets. Releasing this Policy Statement on COP26 Energy Day sends a clear signal that the UK remains committed to ensuring that biomass is done right, in line with existing stringent sustainability governance arrangements, both at home and internationally.

“The REA look forward to ongoing engagement with Government to finalise the Biomass Strategy next year, helping to inform a vision for the continuous sustainable use of biomass. In doing so, we also reiterate the importance of building on the success of existing bioenergy sectors, where immediate carbon savings are already being realised across power, heat and transport.”

Drax Group CEO, Will Gardiner, said:

“Urgent action has to be taken to address the climate crisis and we are pleased the UK government is demonstrating climate leadership in its ambitions to deliver policies which will attract the private sector investment needed for more green technologies to be deployed, including bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

“With the right business model from the government, Drax is ready to invest £2bn in BECCS and could deliver the world’s largest carbon capture project here in the UK, permanently removing eight million of tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year by 2030. With sustainable biomass and BECCS we can kickstart a whole new sector of the economy, creating and supporting tens of thousands of jobs in the North, as well as stimulating an export market and supporting the UK’s net zero target.

“We look forward to working with the government to ensure the most sustainable biomass feedstocks are used in our BECCS project.”

You can find out more information about the “Biomass policy statement: a strategic view on the role of sustainable biomass for net zerohere.