Legislative process should now continue and deliver ambitious RED III framework
STRASBOURG, 15 September: yesterday, the European Parliament (EP) plenary voted on its report on the revision of the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED III), by MEP Marcus Pieper. MEPs confirmed the role of sustainable biodiesel to reach the EU climate objectives, and also increased the ambitions of the RED for the transport sector.
The European Biodiesel Board (EBB), gathering European producers of sustainable biodiesel (FAME & HVO) from agricultural feedstocks, wastes & residues, welcomes the outcome of the EP plenary vote. MEPs approved a higher ambition for transport, with a 16% GHG intensity reduction target (up from the proposed 13%), coupled with a 45% overall renewables target (up from 40%). This is a highly needed but realistic ambition which will require all renewable energy sources to contribute.
To deliver on these ambitious targets, it is only logical that the cap on crop-based biofuels is maintained at 2020 consumption level (with a max of 7%). As the first renewable energy source in transport in 2020, biodiesel will be instrumental in delivering the 2030 objectives. The amendments aiming at reducing or further limiting this cap were overwhelmingly rejected. Regarding waste and residues, the new language on the waste hierarchy and the cascading principle (better suited to allow a deployment of a broader range of sustainable feedstocks), is an improvement when compared with the original ITRE report, and should be kept in the trilogues.
Nevertheless, we note with some concern that the Parliament’s position on soy encroaches into the European Commission’s delegated competence to determine the criteria to categorize high Indirect Land-Use Change (ILUC) risk biofuels. This question should remain a separate technical assessment according to this Delegated Act as prescribed in the RED, and the ordinary legislative process is not the right place to address them.
Next steps: Building on this vote, and overall positive and constructive EP position, some issues remain to addressed during the upcoming interinstitutional negotiations:
- The possibility to allow farmers to use regional average values for cultivation emissions (NUTS II), which reduces administrative burden but still allows those that want to use actual values to do, should be reinstated.
- A positive instrument to differentiate wastes & residues not in Annex IX-B, from those in that annex, should be put in place (namely, the Council General Approach is reinstating double counting for these feedstocks).
- The criteria to determine what are high ILUC risk biofuels should be left solely under the scope of the revision of the respective delegated act by the European Commission.
“The biodiesel industry delivers sustainable food, feed, bio sourced products and biofuels for all transport modes. We will continue to ask for reasonable, pragmatic, and ambitious EU legislation, and will not resort to baseless claims or ad hominem moral judgement as part of our advocacy work. In an excessively polarised political context, this Parliament has shown composure and independence by confirming the role of crop and waste-based biodiesel in the decarbonisation of the European transport sector. The higher ambitions adopted by MEPs will require all renewable technologies and fuels to step up, this is now our focus”, stated Mr. Xavier Noyon, EBB Secretary-General.
André Paula Santos, email@example.com | +32 (0) 2 763 24 77
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