Carbon debt

Understanding the social risks of including carbon debt criteria

In the National Energy Agreement (NEA) it was agreed that no more than 25 PetaJoules of biomass may be co-fired in coal-fired power stations, including around 3.5 million tonnes of wood. Besides fulfilling the NTA8080 requirements, the co-fired biomass will also have to satisfy sustainability criteria on carbon debt, indirect land-use impacts (ILUC) and sustainable forest management (FSC). This report explores the extent to which the sustainability requirements cited in the NEA already exclude carbon debt risks, and which biomass flows would be additionally ruled out by a carbon debt criterion. The report also identifies potential process risks for further elaboration of the issues agreed to under the NEA that may lead to debate on carbon debt.