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Home » Brazil, European Union (EU), Feedstocks, Field/Orchard/Plantation Crops/Residues, Opinions, Policy, Sustainability

Biofuels in the Renewable Energy Directive: The Last Call

Submitted by on May 15, 2018 – 5:50 pmNo Comment

by Géraldine Kutas (The Parliament Magazine/Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA))  Ahead of this week’s RED II negotiations, Géraldine Kutas explains where policymakers are getting it wrong on biofuels – and how they can fix their mistakes before it’s too late.  —  …  Parliament and Council have included a renewables target for transport. Transport accounts for about 25 per cent of total EU greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and is one of the few sectors that has increased emissions over the last 25 years. An ambitious target is therefore necessary to seriously tackle emissions in this sector. The respective 12 per cent and 14 per cent targets proposed by Parliament and Council might not be ambitious enough, but are steps in the right direction.

However, the Council’s proposal to allow member states to reduce their renewable targets in transport and individually set lower caps on plant-based biofuels is misguided. This will fragment the market and fundamentally undermine the decarbonisation of transport in Europe. The proposal for multiple counting of certain alternative fuels is also a very bad idea. This is just an accounting ruse that would drastically reduce the ambitions and effectiveness of RED II. A better way to incentivise alternative fuels that need extra support would be through appropriate targets. 

In the proposed compromise, biofuels with a low ILUC risk would be excluded from the lower limits EU members would be allowed to set. However, there is no clear definition or criteria for what constitutes a low-ILUC risk biofuel, and developing such a definition is proving extremely difficult. It would require reliable and transparent ILUC assessments that until now have been lacking.

Any such assessment should be based on one of the many existing certification schemes that are respected by industry and third countries alike, and recognised by the European Commission.

Brazilian bioethanol has proven – unambiguously – the massive contribution that certain biofuels can make in the fight against climate change. In 13 years, Brazil reduced its carbon emissions in the transport sector by more than 400 million tonnes thanks to bioethanol. That’s almost five times the performance of the EU. READ MORE

Visegrad Four appeal for stable biofuels policy to fight climate change (EurActiv)

With a bad RED II policy we will not invest: V4+Sustainable Biofuel Alliance (EurActiv)

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