Ecologic Institute organized a symposium on biomass certification scheme in Washington DC on 22 January 2010. The event addressed the role of certification systems in developing a new green economy with the goal of facilitating the exchange of ideas and lessons based on US and German experiences, and advancing the discussion about establishing international standards for biomass-based energy.
The discussion took place against the backdrop of a growing green consumer movement and the appropriation of hundreds of billions of dollars over the last year from national stimulus packages into environmentally friendly, green investments. These developments offered hope of sustainable consumption, but also increased the risk of "green-washing". Emphasis will be placed biofuels as an example due to the environmental and social concerns surrounding its expanding use.
Speakers representing government agencies and NGOs from the U.S. and Germany discussed the role of certification in establishing a new, green economy. They focused on the process of developing certification standards, challenges faced, lessons learned, the possibility of developing internationally recognized standards, as well as the economic impact of certification, market accessibility for producers, and the transferability of principles to other (renewable resource based) sectors.
The symposium was held as part of the (U.S.) National Council for Science and the Environment’s (NCSE) 10th annual conference, which expected to draw over 1000 participants including sustainable business leaders, environmental policymakers, civil society, university faculty and students from across the nation, and educated citizens.