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Biomass in a low-carbon economy

1. Outline

This report by the Committee on Climate Change assesses the role of biomass – wood, plants and organic waste – in the global strategy to tackle climate change.

Biomass can play an important role in meeting the UK’s long-term (2050) emissions targets, and moving towards net-zero emissions, but only with stricter governance to ensure sustainable supplies.

2. Key findings and recommendations

The report’s key findings are:

  • Managing biomass stocks is an important component of global climate mitigation strategies
  • Sustainably harvested biomass can play a significant role in meeting long-term climate targets, provided it is prioritised for the most valuable end-uses

The key recommendations of the report are:

  • The UK should aim to increase the volume of carbon stored in our forests and land
  • Food and biodegradable waste must be collected separately from other refuse in all areas across the UK
  • Rules governing the supply of sustainable sources of biomass for energy need to be improved
  • Biomass must be used in the most effective way. Uses that enable long-term carbon storage should be prioritised

3. Supporting charts and data

Charts and data for Chapters 1-5 (Excel)

5. Infographic

The following infographic shows the key messages from this report. Click the image below for a higher resolution version.