Minister says 3 million Romanian households that use firewood for heating should be exempt from climate friendly demands

Romania’s environment minister says three million households use wood to heat their homes and don’t have access or can’t afford more environment-friendly fuel.

Barna Tanczos said Friday the EU should take into account the situation in Romania where many areas are not connected to gas pipelines or can’t afford electric heating.

Energy poverty

Energy poverty is a serious problem in the EU, and many people rely on burning wood for heating. Nobody expects people to stop burning wood for energy altogether, but there is a push to reduce it.

Some EU countries have already raised concerns that there is too much focus on environmental protection without sufficient consideration of the socio-economic aspects of forestry.

Environment ministers took part in the EU’s Informal Environment Council, in Amiens north France which ended on Friday.

Forest strategy

They discussed the new Forest strategy, and carbon related aspects in particular. They are committed to preserving and enhancing forests, to make them more resilient and to allow them to play their role as carbon sinks.

The Commission is now finalizing a proposal for carbon removal certifications.

„The ability of harvested wood to sequester (store) carbon is of significant importance in offsetting climate change and achieving a zero-emission economy”, minister Barna Tanczos said. “However, it is important to consider the local and national particularities of each state.”

Negative impact

„Without due regard to national circumstances there may be additional pressure on forests which could result in a predominantly industrial use of timber. (This) would have a significant negative impact on supply for other uses.”

“In Romania, approximately 3 million homes depend on firewood. In these circumstances, wood used for heating homes in rural areas, as well as for local traditional practices, should be exempted,” he added.

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