|BRUSSELS - Using biomass, a type of fuel made of materials such as wood and manure, instead of coal to generate electricity could lower the world\'s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and create jobs, a report said Thursday.|
The World Wide Fund for Nature, which wrote the report with the European Biomass Industry Association, said in a statement that production of biomass would create hundreds of thousands of jobs while helping to reduce CO2, which contributes to global warming.
\"The report indicated that this could reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main global warming gas, by about 1,000 million tons each year -- a figure equivalent to the combined annual emissions of Canada and Italy,\" the statement said.
Biomass currently provides one percent of industrialized countries\' power needs but could provide 15 percent by 2020, according to the report. A renewable energy source, biomass is made from agricultural and forest products such as animal waste, straw or sugar cane.
The European Union is pushing for renewable energy sources such as biomass, wind power and solar energy to be used more widely across Europe.
The bloc has set a target for the 15 countries that comprised it before its enlargement on May 1 to use renewable energy for 12 percent of their overall energy needs by 2010. Twenty-two percent of their electricity consumption is to come from renewable sources by that date.
The European Commission said Wednesday it expected to miss that goal, with renewable energy forms predicted to make up only 10 percent of overall energy consumption and 18 to 19 percent of electricity consumption by that date.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE