Climate Law in EU Member States
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Climate Law in EU Member States

Towards National Legislation for Climate Protection

Edited by Marjan Peeters, Mark Stallworthy and Javier de Cendra de Larragán

The complex and multifaceted nature of EU climate legislation poses a major challenge for EU member states. This timely book focuses on national climate action, addressing the regulatory responses required for the purposes of meeting greenhouse gas emissions reduction objectives for 2020 (and beyond).
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Chapter 13: Biomass or the story of an unfinished coming together of energy and waste: observations on the EU and French legal approach

Alexandra Langlais


Biomass is defined in Article 2e) of Directive 2009/28/EC of 23 April 2009 relating to the promotion and use of energy produced from renewable sources as ‘biodegradable fraction of products, waste and residues from biological origin from agriculture (including vegetal and animal substances), forestry and related industries including fisheries and aquaculture, as well as the biodegradable fraction of industrial and municipal waste’. It is therefore one of the components of energy produced from renewable sources, which is defined as ‘energy produced from renewable non-fossil sources, namely wind, solar, aerothermal, geothermal, hydrothermal and ocean energy, hydropower, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogases’ (Article 2a) of Directive 2009/28/EC). In other words, biomass is identified as a source of renewable energy by the directive but also as the results of its transformation in the form of bio-fuels or biogas. However, whereas the directive bothers to make a link between biomass and bio-fuels, this is not clearly emphasized regarding biogas. To this end, biomass is part of the fight against climate change, constituting an alternative to the use of greenhouse-gas-emitting fossil fuels and it also helps in promoting the search for energy independence on a European Union-wide scale. It shares this purpose with other forms of renewable energy such as wind and solar power.

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