NGOs tell Commission to listen to science and differentiate biofuels


EURACTIV reports that a coalition of Czech and Slovak NGOs has called on the European Commission to draw a line in the Renewable Energy Directive revision (RED II) between more sustainable ethanol and the high greenhouse gas emitting tropical oils. They also said that not all types of advanced biofuels should be accepted in the energy mix. They referred to the difference between agrodiesel from soybeans, palm oil as well as sugarcane ethanol and ethanol produced from corn, wheat or sugarbeet that is processed within the European Union. They said European produced crop-based ethanol, such as that produced from corn, wheat or sugarbeet, “brings significant climate benefits by saving greenhouse gas emissions compared to petrol even after indirect land use change (ILUC) is accounted for”. The European Commission highlighted the need to decarbonise the transport sector as part of an EU-wide goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030. In its new strategy, the Commission proposed to cap crop-based biofuels in decarbonising the transport sector and said those should no longer receive support after 2020. The next trilogue meetings are scheduled on 17 May and 29 May. No progress has been made so far under the Bulgarian EU presidency and it’s likely that the file will pass on to the Austrians.

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