Net zero: European Union’s plan to reduce carbon emissions has a huge flaw

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The European Union’s plan to achieve climate neutrality could lead to more deforestation because it ignores what happens when more land is used to produce bioenergy



Environment



1 April 2022

2CCPWCA Viru bog study trail in Lahemaa National Park, estonia

Viru Bog in Lahemaa National Park, Estonia. Peat bogs are an important carbon store

Karl Allen Lugmayer/Alamy

If land is used to grow plants for bioenergy, it can’t be used to grow food or carbon-storing forests, nor can it provide a habitat for wildlife. The European Union’s proposed plan to reach net-zero carbon emissions fails to take account of this, meaning it could have unintended and undesirable consequences, such as increasing global deforestation and reducing biodiversity, according to a new analysis.

“The plans assume that converting land to energy use has no cost, which is pretty amazing given the …

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