Thursday, October 5, 2017 | 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Niclas Scott Bentsen

University of Copenhagen

RW117 – Ramsey Wright Laboratories (map)

The burning question: Are there opportunities to supply the World with carbon neutral bioenergy and how do we ensure that intended climate benefits of bioenergy are achieved?


Bioenergy is the main contributor to renewable energy And bioenergy use is expected to increase significantly to support energy strategies and to meet climate change mitigations targets in a large number of individual Countries as well as on a global scale.

Practically any view on the climate benefits of bioenergy can find support in the scientific as well as in the more popular literature. From bioenergy being instantly Beneficial to mitigate climate change to bioenergy will not in centuries to come contribute to climate change mitigation. Not surprisingly, this scientific controversy leads to confusion, discussion and disagreement among policymakers and other stakeholders about the future role of bioenergy.

While biomass in carbon accounting schemes is considered a carbon neutral fuel contributing to climate change mitigation, research in later years has increasingly questions the contribution of particularly forest based bioenergy to mitigate global warming. In forests there can be a large temporal displacement between CO2 emissions, when forest biomass is used for energy and subsequent sequestration of CO2 in new biomass. There is a carbon debt, a debt to pay back through displacement of fossil resources and sustainable land management.

The seminar discusses the current science on climate impacts from bioenergy and explores the opportunities and limitation to mobilize even more biomass for energy purposes and at the same time ensure that that climate benefits are achieved.


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