Tight Votes in Strasbourg prolong Biofuels Policy Instability

The European Parliament has failed today to give a clear steer on the future of the EU biofuels industry. In a series of close votes today on proposals to manage ‘indirect land use change’ (ILUC), MEPS have sent out mixed signals [1].

Disappointingly an overall cap on the contribution of crop-based biofuels to transport energy at 6% – higher than the ENVI Committee’s proposed 5.5% but lower than the 8% industry lobbied for – was passed, as was the proposal to account for ‘ILUC factors’ in biofuel carbon accounting from 2020. However, more positively, amendments for a specific 2.5% target for advanced biofuels, double-counting for used cooking oil and tallow and a 7.5% limit on bioethanol in petrol were also carried.

REA Head of Renewable Transport Clare Wenner said:

“As well as helping to fight climate change and reducing our dependence on animal feed imports, investment in UK biofuels generates skilled jobs and green growth in regions of previous industrial decline, such as Humberside and the North East.

“However, future investments are likely to remain on hold following today’s voting in Strasbourg, which introduces a whole new level of procedural complexity into the ILUC policy situation. The 6% overall cap is too tight and the REA continues to oppose the introduction of ILUC factors until there is convincing scientific evidence that biofuels should be singled out in this way. There are some bright spots, though, such as the separate target for advanced biofuels and the continuation of double counting for biofuels made from used cooking oil.

“Today’s vote puts a particular responsibility on the European Member States in the Council, including our own Government, to reach conclusions that will allow the UK biofuels industry to move forward with confidence.”

The Renewable Energy Association represents renewable energy producers and promotes the use of all forms of renewable energy in the UK across power, heat, transport, renewable gas and organics recycling. It is the largest renewable energy trade association in the UK, with over 1,000 members, ranging from major multinationals to sole traders. For more information, see: www.r-e-a.net

Source: REA

For more information on: REA