The EU recognises the role of EU-sourced biofuels in the future renewable energy mix, but…

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Farm Europe’s Green Energy Platform welcomes the decision of the European Parliament and European Council to reject the Commission’s proposal to phase out all 1st generation biofuels. However, at the same time, the Platform regrets that the compromise still ignores the benefits of EU sourced biofuels for the EU society and for the agricultural sector as it co-generates 52% of all « Made in Europe » proteins and should be further encouraged.

The deal concluded today on the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED2) secures the EU sourced biofuels production at 2020+1% levels or maximum 7% and sets the general principle of a freeze at 2019 levels of those more controversial biofuels that are linked to deforestation and peatland drainage (such as palm oil). This freeze is due to be followed by a phasing out by 2030 based on a report of the European Commission in 2023.

At this stage, it’s impossible to assess the efficiency of the deal as long as key parameters of the regulation are transferred to a delegated act to be adopted by the European Commission in February 2019 at the latest. This decision creates a high level of uncertainty on the real outcomes of today’s political agreement.

At this stage, ILUC models are generating an important scientific debate as the results vary widely by study and on time. Therefore the Platform will remain vigilant and mobilised in order to promote a fact based decision that fully respects the intentions of the co-legislators, and that does not put at risk sustainable EU sourced biofuels directly or indirectly.

EU agricultural sectors have the capacity to co-generate food and energy together, from first and second generation biofuels, which should not be seen as opposed but rather as complementary. The development of second generation should be promoted via a real development of industrial capacity, not by multipliers offering a wrong vision of the reality.

The capacity of  agriculture, in Europe, to produce green energy should be further enhanced for all EU-sourced biofuels and for biogas.