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Home » European Union (EU), Farming/Growing, Feedstocks, Field Crops, Forestry/Wood, Infrastructure, Not Agriculture, Opinions, Policy, Sustainability

MEPs Ask Commission to Distinguish ‘Good and Bad’ Crop-Based Biofuels

Submitted by on June 30, 2017 – 5:39 pmNo Comment

by Sarantis Michalopoulos  (EurActiv)  The European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee endorsed on Thursday (29 June) its opinion on the European Strategy for Low Emission Mobility, calling on the Commission to keep the sustainable biofuels in the EU energy mix.

As part of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) revision, the European Commission has proposed reducing the contribution of conventional biofuels in transport from a maximum of 7% in 2021 to 3.8% in 2030 [See background].

It also set an obligation to raise the share of other ‘low emissions fuels’ such as renewable electricity and advanced biofuels in transport to 6.8%.

Bas Eickhout, a Green MEP and rapporteur of the ENVI’s draft report, said the opinion will be forwarded to the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), which is responsible for responding to the Commission’s proposal.

In its opinion, the ENVI committee asks for stricter limits than those proposed in the recast of RED and reiterates the need to phase down first generation biofuels by 2030 and decarbonise the transport sector.

However, it also calls on the Commission to differentiate the crop-based biofuels and particularly favour those with high GHG-efficiency, “while taking into account indirect land use change (ILUC) and ensuring that existing investments are protected”.

“The Commission’s proposal is very crude […] it does not distinguish between good and bad biofuels and I think we need to have sustainability criteria here,” he said.

In a written reply to EURACTIV.com’s question his office added: “That would indeed be favourable for feedstocks with lower ILUC factor […] which is indeed the case for ethanol compared to biodiesel”.

Bioethanol industry satisfied

The differentiation among biofuels based on sustainable criteria has always been a request of the ethanol industry.

The European Renewable Ethanol Association (ePURE) said the committee’s vote had sent a clear signal.

BirdLife Europe instead suggests a full ban on crop-based biofuels and finds the Commission proposal for a gradual phase-out insufficient. READ MORE / MORE / MORE / MORE / MORE

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