Commission Asked To Clarify Role Of Peat As A Biofuel

30 January 2007
European Commissioners for the Environment and for Energy have been asked by local SNP MEP Alyn Smith to clarify whether or not peat is to be included in the Commission's proposals for biomass and bio fuel.

MEP Alyn Smith has written to Commissioners Dimas (Environment) and Piebalgs (Energy) after the European Parliament voted to support the inclusion of peat as a renewable resource in a European bio mass and biofuel strategy.

Speaking from Brussels Mr Smith said,

"I am not against the excavation of peat as an energy source but I am concerned that the European Parliament, by including it in these plans to increase the amount of biomass and bio fuel we use, is opening the doors for wholesale opencast peat mining.

"Peat is not an energy source that will replenish itself quickly and such a move will not only devastate stocks but have a serious environmental impact on our wetland areas.

"The Commission's position is unclear as in August prior to December's decision by the Parliament it had indicated that it did not consider peat as a renewable fuel. I have asked both Commissioners to clarify this position as soon as possible.

"As proposals to combat climate change progress and people look to alternative energy sources I have also asked that pressure is put on member states to promote the conservation and restoration of their peat lands."

Alyn Smith's letter to the Commissioners (Word doc Version - 86Kb)