WWF Position Paper on Bioenergy
Bioenergy production for large-scale commercial use is currently growing rapidly and is increasingly supported in several countries. Developed countries have opted for bioenergy production and trade to meet their domestic emissions reduction targets. Medium to large developing countries have adopted bioenergy as part of their development strategy to generate export earnings, meet local demand and develop their own bioenergy industries in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Others are turning towards bioenergy crops to meet local energy demands and foster rural development. These goals are not mutually exclusive.
WWF believes that bioenergy can provide diverse sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels, additional incomes for rural communities and contribute to development. However, bioenergy development is not necessarily sustainable. Depending on which crops are produced, where and how, bioenergy developments can cause significant negative environmental and social impacts, such as deforestation, biodiversity loss, soil erosion, excessive water use, land use conflicts, food shortages and staple food crop price spikes.
WWF will only support bioenergy that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable and considers that effective measures are needed to address a number of issues.