Updated: July 2012
of this Page:
of Biofuels - Voluntary Schemes. Read
Flightpath Initiative. Read
Land Use Change - critera for sustainable biofuels? Read
- EU Policy and Sustainable Criteria, 2012. Read
EU Policy and Directives on
Biofuels, 2007. Read
of RES-T directives, 2003/30 & 2003/96. Read
· Content & Process
of Directives 2003/30 and 2003/96. Read
Spring 2002. Read
Under the Renewable
Energy Directive (2009/28/EC, text), the share of renewable energy in the transport
sector rises to a minimum 10% in every Member State in 2020
(Directive 2003/30/EC established a goal of 5.75% in 2010). The Directive
aims to ensure the use of sustainable biofuels only, which generate
a clear and net GHG saving without negative impact on biodiversity
and land use.
Schemes of Biofuels
Since 19 July 2011, the
EC has recognised voluntary schemes that applies directly in 27 EU
Member States. Schemes include the Assessment report and the Commission
Implementing Decision. Biofuels that is certified by any of these schemes
qualify as sustainable biofuels for fulfilling the EU target of 10% renewable
energy in transport by 2020.
- ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon
- Bonsucro EU
- RTRS EU RED (Round Table on Responsible Soy EU
- RSB EU RED (Roundtable of Sustainable Biofuels
- 2BSvs (Biomass Biofuels voluntary scheme)
- RBSA (Abengoa RED Bioenergy Sustainability Assurance)
- Greenergy (Greenergy Brazilian Bioethanol verification
- Ensus voluntary scheme under RED for Ensus bioethanol
Find here more
information about the voluntary schemes.
Flight path Initiative, 2011
The EC, in coordination with Airbus, leading European airlines and key European
biofuel producers have launched in 2011 the European
Advanced Biofuels Flight path Initiative, a roadmap to achieve a annual production
of two million tonnes of sustainable produced biofuel for aviation in 2020. This
voluntary commitment aims to support and promote the production, storage and
distribution of sustainably produced biofuels for use in aviation and to support
the construction of advanced biofuel production plants. Read more detailed information
in the technical
paper presented on 18 May 2011.
Land Use Change - Criteria
a public consultation on October, on 22 December 2010, the European
Commission (EC) published a report on indirect land use change
related to biofuels and bioliquids. See it here.
The report recognises that indirect land use change can reduce greenhouse gas
emissions savings associated with biofuels and announces that the EC will conduct
an impact assessment, thereby taking into consideration potential changes to
the existing legislation. The impact assessment was planned for mid-2011, but
have been delayed several times, and was not launched before the summer 2012.
This might be because of the large impacts on evaluation of sustainability of
biomass that inclusion of indirect land-use change might have.
Read the public consultation (pdf
INFORSE-Europe’s Opinion on Indirect Land Use Change
Impacts of Biofuels (pdf
- EU Policy and Sustainable Criteria
In June 2010 the EU Commission adopted a package on sustainability
criteria of biofuels to fulfil the transport target in the 2009 renewable
The package, two communications and one decision, shall help to ensure
that production of these biofuels generates at least 35% less
greenhouse gas than producing fossil auto-fuel and that it
does so without damaging the environment. The sustainability criteria are
taken from the renewable-energy directive (articles 17,18, 19). These
criteria are related to greenhouse
gas savings, land with high biodiversity value, land with high carbon
stock and agro-environmental practices. There are no criteria for indirect
land-use change, but the Commission is considering adding such criteria
NGOs have been critical of the package. For instance, the European
Environmental Bureau and others are deeply concerned about the Commission's
to address expansion of agricultural land into environmentally sensitive
areas, leading to environmental problems via indirect land-use change.
The criteria apply since December 2010. To ensure that the entire biofuels'
production and supply chain is sustainable, the sustainability of biofuels
needs to be checked by Member States or through voluntary schemes which
have been approved by the European Commission (EC).
for Unsustainable Biofuel
December 30, 2008.
EU Must Promote Sustainable
Biofuel use Now!!
INFORSE-Europe's Call for Moratorium for Unsustainable Biofuel Now!!
position (pdf file 29 kB)
Criteria for Biofuels
The EU Energy & Climate Package (January 2008) includes
targets renewable energy in transport, and proposals for sustainability criteria
Read more at the EU Energy & Climate Package.
INFORSE-Europe calls for an immediate moratorium on
incentives for agrofuels (liquid fuels from large-scale monoculture agriculture)
in EU countries including tree plantations and a moratorium on EU imports
of such agrofuels.
We also call for the immediate change of all targets for biofuel use
in transportation to targets for sustainable transportation, such as
targets for transport energy from sustainable renewable energy, energy
efficiency increases, reductions of unnecessary transport, and shifts
to more environmentally benign forms of transport.
This call for a moratorium for agrofuels does not include the use of
biofuels in truly sustainable ways, such as the replacement of imported
fossil fuels by the local use of sustainably produced biofuels.
Release - 24.10.2007 (pdf
file 172 kB) and Statement (pdf
file 82 kB).
INFORSE-Europe calls for the change of the EU target for 10% biofuels
in transportation fuels by 2020 is changed to a target for renewable
energy in transport
INFORSE-Europe proposes that the EU targets for 5.75% renewables
in transport by 2010 and 10% biofuels in transport are not met with mandatory
blending of biofuels (including agrofuels) into petrol and diesel.
Instead countries should start their transitions to sustainable
transport systems with efficient use of energy, sustainable use of renewable
energy including use of renewable electricity, modal shifts, and limit
transport to cost-effective levels, without subsidies and inclusion of
external costs. These transitions must meet the targets of respectively
and 10% reductions by 2010 and 2020 of transport-related greenhouse gas
emissions, in addition to already agreed increases of energy and climate
efficiencies in transport.
INFORSE supports sustainable use of renewable
energy, also in transport. As part of that biofuels must be sustainable,
and INFORSE-Europe have
proposed sustainability criteria
(pdf file 128 kB), but the simple application of sustainability criteria is not enough to
guarantee sustainability of production, partly because of lack of efficient
implementation, partly because of other land-use changes caused by introduction
of biofuels. This is why INFORSE-Europe in addition have decided to call
for a moratorium as described above.
Past EU Policy and Directives on Biofuels
In 2003, the EU countries
agreed two directives to increase the use of renewable energy in transport
to an indicative target (reference value) of 5.75% by 2010. An interim
target (reference value) of 2% in 2005 was not met; but the directive
and policies have lead
increases in use of liquid biofuels in transport, and with the current
development it is possible, though not certain, that the 2010 target
will be met. The vast majority of policies and support have been directed
biofuels for cars as a partly replacement of petrol and diesel. In
a few countries biogas is also introduced in transport, e.g. in Sweden.
Use of renewable electricity, that could replace normal electricity
have received less attention.
In March 2007, the EU Prime
ministers agreed to a 10% target of biofuels by 2020, as part of a
new energy policy for Europe; but no target for other forms of renewable
energy in transport. In With the decision is mentioned that the biofuel
has to be provided sustainable. This agreement will now be translated
in a legal proposal by the EU Commission, probably as part of the Renewable
Energy Framework Directive planned for December 5, 2007 and with a
fuel tax directive.
to these processes, the EU Commission is working on sustainability
criteria for biofuels.
Read EU Commission page
on renewable energy /biofuels in transport
of RES-T directives, 2003/30 & 2003/96
deadline for the implementation and setting of national targets were
have had the largest effect in Germany that have given
full exemption of excise duties for biofuels from Jan. 1, 2004. Also
Austria has a petroleum tax exemption for pure biofuels.
UK has introduced a tax reduction of 20 pence/liter (138 €/m3) which
is giving a substantial boost to the development.
France and Italy have quota systems for biofuels linked with some tax
deduction. In Italy the quota is doubled since 2001, and the use of
biofuels is increased similarly. In France the limited quota
has limited the development of biofuels, and there were not increase
in the use 2002-2003.
More countries are expected to improve the market conditions for biofuels
while other, such as Denmark, have no tax reductions for biofuels and
does not expect any increase in the use of it, in spite of the new directives.
Apparently no country have
specified environmental criteria for production of biofuels as proposed
by INFORSE-Europe. While the production has to follow normal agricultural
the increased use of the relative intensive biofuels can unfortunately
be expected to increase pollution from agriculture.
Read more about biofuels
development of at The EurObserv'ER Baromenter
Process of Directives 2003/30 and 2003/96
the EU ministers‘ agreement about a biofuels directive
in November 2002, the EU Parliament agreed in March 2003 in its second
reading to a resolution with a few proposals:
· It underlines the extension of the scope of the directive to all renewable
fuels in transport (not just biofuels) by calling for national reports
on the progress in introduction of renewable energy in transport.
· It calls for inclusion of pure vegetable oil in the definitions of biofuels.
With this, two of INFORSE-Europe's proposals have been integrated, but
the directive still provides insufficient incentives to the use of pure
vegetable oil and should address more strongly possible environmental
problems of the production of biofuels.
November'02 the EU countries reached an agreement about the proposal,
including that targets should be indicative, not binding. The EU countries
finally agreed to the directive in the beginning of April'03, after
the second reading of the Parliament in March'03.
were proposed by the Commission spring 2002.
directives promote biofuels for car fuel. This is fuel from agricultural
products such as plant oils, plant oil methyl-ester (including rape-seed
methyl ester - ROME), methanol, ethanol, ETBE. The directives propose
national targets for biofuels as well as reduced vehicle fuel taxes
for biofuels. The targets, are indicative and the vehicle fuel tax
is voluntary. The directive sets a "reference value" for
national targets of 2% in 2005 and 5.75% in 2010.
to EU Energy Policy