Keep the farm in Farm-to-Fork: EU ethanol production is vital to Europe’s agriculture and climate goals
European renewable ethanol industry reacts to announcement of new EU Biodiversity and Farm-to-Fork Strategies
BRUSSELS, 20 May 2020 – Experts agree that achieving the EU Green Deal will require a massive increase in bioenergy, so it is important that we rely on renewable energy sources that are sustainable, preserving Europe’s biodiversity and protecting its food security.
Fortunately, the EU has already gone through a long process of setting criteria to distinguish good from bad biofuels. European renewable ethanol made from crops, waste and residues meets those criteria and is the best and most cost-effective carbon-abatement tool for road transport, today and in the foreseeable future.
A Biodiversity Strategy that lumps all biofuel feedstock together in the misleading category of ‘food and feed’ would diminish the vital role of biofuels such as European renewable ethanol that do not drive deforestation or food price increases. Crops cultivated for European ethanol use only a small percentage of EU utilised arable land. Furthermore, EU ethanol production creates both fuel and feed, offsetting the need to import animal feed from countries where deforestation is actually happening.
The fight against climate change requires swift action, not another time-consuming look at the sustainability of feedstock. Likewise, imposing restrictions on pesticide and fertilizer use – as proposed in both strategies – should apply to imports as well as domestic cultivation, so as not to put European farmers at a disadvantage.
As policymakers consider these new strategies, they should not abandon important domestic solutions that already deliver results by reducing emissions, creating jobs and ensuring markets for farmers in the EU.