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Nordic Council of Ministers Biomass Conference Begins Process to Promote Sustainable Nordic Biomass

26 March 2012: The Nordic Council of Ministers has reported on the outcome of a Nordic-Baltic biomass conference held in Copenhagen on 21 March 2012, noting the Baltic Sea region can become a leader in sustainable biomass production.

The conference focused on the future possibilities for the production and use of biomass in the Baltic Sea region in the context of the European Commission's action plan on "Innovating for Sustainable Growth: a Bioeconomy for Europe." Participants agreed that the availability of biomass as well as advantages in terms of infrastructure, technology and environmental knowledge create the optimal conditions for the Baltic Sea region to become actively involved in sustainable biomass production. They also developed a proposal for establishing a Horizontal Action in this area within the European Union's (EU) Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

The conference built on a 2012 Nordic Council of Ministers' publication titled "Climate Change and Energy Systems: Impacts, Risks and Adaptation in the Nordic and Baltic Countries." The report presents the results of the working groups of the Climate and Energy Systems project of the Nordic Energy Research's (NER) 2007–2010 strategy and action plan, focusing on: climate scenarios; time-series analysis; hydropower; wind power; biofuels; energy systems; and risk analysis. The report concludes that the Nordic and Baltic region is well positioned to handle the impacts of projected climate changes on the energy systems of the region, and that the effect of climate change might be surplus bioenergy production, which can be exported to the rest of Europe.

Halldór Ásgrímsson, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, noted that, to further develop the proposed Horizontal Action, he noted a series of stakeholder workshops on biomass will be organized later this year. [Press Release] [Publication: Climate Change and Energy Systems: Impacts, Risks and Adaptation in the Nordic and Baltic Countries]