Is the EU waking up to the strategic importance of ethanol?
ePURE Director General David Carpintero writes in the new issue of Ethanol Producer Magazine: "The role of sustainable biofuels in the transition from a fossil-based economy to carbon neutrality has been the subject of intense and often misinformed debate over the last few years. Lately, however, there has been cause for optimism that Europe could move to a more constructive discussion. Consider a couple of recent signs that European policymakers are waking up to what their counterparts around the world already know: that renewable ethanol offers strategic advantages for energy independence, food security, and the fight against climate change.
"One such development is a declaration by the G7 group of leading economic nations—a statement co-signed by EU leaders—asserting that sustainable biofuels have a vital role to play in transport decarbonization. This was a welcome turnaround from recent efforts to downplay the proven ability of biofuels to reduce GHG emissions in transport.
"Another positive signal was a European Court of Auditors report calling into question the current EU strategy of betting everything on electric vehicles as the way to decarbonize road transport—and phasing out all other options. The EU’s main auditing institution found that Europe’s ambitions to rely on electric vehicles for road transport leave it vulnerable to long-term dependency on China and the U.S. for battery technology, and threaten its ability to meet goals for reducing CO2 emissions from cars. In other words, the consequences of banning new sales of internal combustion engine cars after 2035, without making allowances for cars that could run on carbon-neutral liquid fuels, are potentially serious."