Mon, 27 Jan 2014
EU - The European Commission (EC) has 'missed an opportunity' to tackle Europe’s most pressing environmental challenges, according to the European Biodiesel Board (EBB), following the release of 'A policy framework for climate and energy policy in the period for 2020 to 2030' by the EC last week.
The European Biodiesel Board (EBB), representing producers of the main alternative to fossil fuels, wishes to highlight the positive effects of biodiesel with regards to preventing climate change and Europe’s energy security. EBB calls for appropriate transportation targets and urges Member States to acknowledge biodiesel’s valuable contribution in green growth.
Transportation is the most polluting sector in Europe, accounting for 25 per cent of total EU CO2 emissions. In addition to environmental concerns, Europe faces an energy security gap, triggered by high dependence on fossil fuels imports and particularly diesel from third countries.
“Transport is at the heart of European economy, yet the Communication published today does not appear to consider the challenges of high energy bill for future growth”, regrets Raffaello Garofalo, EBB Secretary General.
"EBB members offer EU – made products, reducing greenhouse gases up to 85 per cent compared to diesel. Europe can make the choice of promoting both European growth and employment by playing a leading role in tackling climate change adverse effects."
In 2009, European institutions paved the way for fuel’s GHG emission reduction target of six per cent by 2020, while fostering reliance on renewable sources in overall transport. “Binding targets have shown to be right in deploying renewable sources.
Industry relies on stable long-term policy framework. European institutions and Member States have the responsibility to reinforce sustainable transport with specific targets”, continues Garofalo.
"If biofuels targets are not confirmed post 2020, investments will already stop as of today. Lack of mandatory goals will immediately result in a catastrophic situation for both conventional and advanced biofuels, as well as for the 200,000 related jobs."
The EBB claim this is strongly contradicting the ambitious aims of the Commission for developing investment in improving biofuels: if nothing is changed in the proposal capitals will flee from biofuels, and will especially flee from new expensive biofuels technologies.
Thanks to both the Renewable Energy Directive and the Fuel Quality Directive, biodiesel is expected to account for 8.6 per cent of overall transport consumption by 2020. This policy framework has proven to support investors’ confidence with EU biodiesel production capacity reaching nearly 23 million tonnes to meet the 2020 targets.
“Despite uncertainties surrounding the ILUC debate, biodiesel investors are willing to contribute to sustainable mobility. Specific targets for 2030 would restore investors’ confidence and support the deployment of a sustainable and advanced alternative to diesel. Claiming that first generation biofuels has ‘a limited role in decarbonising the transport’ sector is simply wrong and misguiding. Biofuels are the only sector abiding by strict sustainability criteria. Should the current framework be abandoned, it would simply erase the efforts made by the industry so far," concludes Garofalo.