As the RED II endgame gets under way, here’s how to get the best deal for the EU


The European Commission, Parliament and Council are ready to launch so-called “trilogue” talks to hammer out a final compromise for the Renewable Energy Directive for 2020-2030. There’s a lot at stake, including the level of ambition the EU will show for renewable energy in transport – the one sector where it is falling short of its climate-change goals.

Rather than demonising all biofuels, the EU needs a renewable energy policy that prizes performance in reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and restores investor confidence. In our latest position paper, ePURE offers a vision for how Europe can live up to its climate promises with a renewable energy policy that includes sustainable biofuels like ethanol that deliver significant greenhouse-gas reduction in today’s vehicle fleet.

During the RED II negotiations, EU policymakers should:

  • Set meaningful ambitions for renewable low-carbon fuels. Meeting the EU’s 2030 climate and energy goals requires between 12% and 15.6% renewable energy content in transport, without artificially inflating this share with multipliers. Member States should not be allowed to show fake progress by using math tricks nor to lower their targets for renewables in transport.
  • Ensure a stable policy framework for existing and future investments. The EU should keep a stable 7% crop cap; and any reduction of the cap should not apply to biofuels like EU ethanol that deliver high GHG savings. Backing away from high-performing crop-based biofuels now would only hinder efforts to fight climate change and discourage investment in advanced biofuels.
  • Promote advanced biofuels in synergy with crop-based biofuels. For advanced biofuels to reach their full potential, the EU needs dedicated support and stable policies that can restore investor confidence. This includes a dedicated binding ramping up sub-target for Annex IX-A biofuels. These 2g biofuels are important and will deliver big on decarbonization if we set the right policy now.
  • Strengthen sustainability criteria. Not all biofuels are created equal. The EU should get rid of biofuels like palm oil and derivatives that drive peatland drainage, but support those that contribute sustainably to GHG reduction and food security. EU renewable energy policy should look beyond labels like “conventional” or “advanced” and instead to the real sustainability credentials of biofuels. A maximum contribution of biofuels from Annex IX-B must be maintained and their contribution should not count double.

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