Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

Climate Change: the role of bioenergy

Report published

The Committee published ' Climate change: the role of bioenergy' , its Eighth Report 2005-06 (HC 965-I), on 18 September 2006.

Oral and Written Evidence (HC 965-II) was published the same day.

The Government response (HC 131 06-07) was published on Wednesday 13 December 2006.

Terms of Reference

The Committee welcomed written evidence on the following points:

1)What is the real scope for biomass and biofuels to contribute to tackling climate change? What proportion of the UK's energy and transport fuel needs could they provide?

2)How cost-effective are biomass and biofuels in comparison with other sources of renewable energy?

3)How do biofuels compare to other renewables, and with conventional fossil-fuels, in terms of carbon savings over their full life-cycle?

4)Not all biomass is equal€”potential carbon savings depend on, for instance, farming practice. What can be done to ensure energy crops are sustainably produced?

5)What impact will UK Government and EU actions have in increasing demand for, and production of, biomass and biofuels?

6)What level of financial and policy support do bioenergy technologies require in order to achieve the Government's targets for renewable energy?

7)What impact might an increase in energy crops in the UK and the rest of the EU have on biodiversity, production of food crops and land use and the environment more generally?

8)Does bioenergy production constitute the best use of UK land for non-food crops? Should UK and EU policy focus on increasing domestic production of energy crops and biomass, or are there merits in importing biomass for energy production, or raw feedstock or refined biofuel, from outside the EU?

9)What more can be done to make more efficient use, as an energy source, of the by-products of agriculture and forestry (e.g. wood waste and other organic waste)?

10)What lessons can be learned from other countries' experience in the production and use of bioenergy?

Submitters of written evidence were also asked to address any relevant aspects of the revised UK Climate Change Programme when it is published.

Uncorrected Oral Evidence
(corrected versions appear in the oral and written evidence above):

Wednesday 10 May 2006
Defra and Treasury officials; Ian Pearson MP, Minister of State, Defra
Wednesday 3 May 2006
Shell; Ford Motor Company, Rolls-Royce plc
Wednesday 26 April 2006
Biosciences Federation and the Royal Society of Chemistry; English Nature
Wednesday 19 April 2006
Sir Ben Gill, leader of the Biomass Task Force study
Wednesday 8 March 2006
Biofuels Corporation plc, The Energy Crops Company Ltd; UK Petroleum Industry Association Ltd (UKPIA), Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Ltd (SMMT)
Wednesday 1 March 2006
NFU; Renewable Energy Association

Press notices

13/12/06 Government response published
05/12/06 Government response to be published
18/09/06 Report published
25/07/06 Report to be published
25/04/06 Further evidence session announced
20/04/06 Further evidence sessions announced
28/03/06 Evidence session announced
02/03/06 Evidence session announced
16/02/06 Evidence session announced
15/12/05 New inquiry