It’s really important that the perennial energy crops sector responds to this consultation to ensure that the Commission understands the many benefits afforded by short rotation coppice (SRC), short rotation forestry (SRF), Miscanthus and other energy grasses.
We would like to see future EU policy have:
- A greater understanding of the multifunctional attributes of perennial energy crops (such as role in flood mitigation, water quality improvement, erosion control and the provision of pollination services)
- Encouragement of elevated planting of perennial energy crops in areas where they could have greatest
- Increased weighting as Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) in the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The weighting should be at least 0.7 and possibly 1.0 to reflect the environmental benefits of the crop
- Support to develop best practice protocols for using perennial energy crops for environmental benefits – e.g. the best way to plant SRC and miscanthus to improve flood mitigation; best way to plant SRC to maximise pollination services in late winter early spring.