Overview of recent developments in sustainable biomass certification

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The objective of this paper is to give a comprehensive review of initiatives on biomass sustainability criteria and certification from different viewpoints of stakeholders, including NGOs, companies, national governments and international bodies. Special attention is given to recent developments in the Netherlands, the UK and the EU up until June 2007. Furthermore, opportunities and restrictions in the development of biomass certification are described, including lack of adequate methodologies, stakeholder involvement requirements and certification costs. It is concluded that criteria to ensure the sustainable production of biomass are needed urgently. To some extent criteria categories can be covered using existing systems, but others (such as GHG and energy balances, changing land-use) require the development of new methodologies. A gradual development of certification systems with learning (through pilot studies and research) and expansion over time, linked to the development of advanced methodologies can provide valuable experience, and further improve the feasibility and reliability of biomass certification systems. However, better international coordination between initiatives is required to improve coherence and efficiency in the development of sustainable biomass certification systems, to avoid the proliferation of standards and to provide a clearer direction in the approach to be taken. Finally, next to certification, alternative policy tools should be considered as well to ensure sustainable biomass production.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Biofuels
Place of PublicationKuala Lumpur
PublisherMalaysian Palm Oil Board
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2007

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