Sustainable Production of Bioenergy from Agriculture and Forestry in the Nordic Countries

There is an increasing awareness that climate change is caused by anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases that mainly originate from the use of fossil fuels. In the EU member states as well as in other parts of the world, energy policies are being developed that discriminate fossil fuels and /or promote the use of renewable energy sources. Together with increasing oil prices, the result is a steady increase in the demand for renewable energy sources, both for heat and power production and to a varying degree also for vehicle fuels. A transition to an economy that is more based on use of renewable biomass than on fossil fuels is initiated. As a consequence, conflicts between economic production of food, fodder and fuels and various ecosystem services (biodiversity, social and cultural values, etc) that are provided by forest and farmland are increasing as well. Hence, a developed thinking on how to balance between these services is desirable. This report summarizes the conclusions from two workshops on sustainability criteria in relation to tried and/or existing implemented production systems and describes general principles for a sustainable production of biofuels from agriculture and forestry in Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden.