EU gets strict on biofuel sources

The European Union yesterday announced that countries would have to follow strict procedures in sourcing biofuels from sustainable sources. The Commission recognised seven voluntary certification schemes and will apply directly […]

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By Tom Gibson

The European Union yesterday announced that countries would have to follow strict procedures in sourcing biofuels from sustainable sources. The Commission recognised seven voluntary certification schemes and will apply directly in 27 EU Member States.

Biofuels used in the EU, whether produced locally or imported, have to comply with sustainability criteria, which aim to prevent areas of high biodiversity and high carbon stock being used to produce biofuels. The EU says: “Fuels made of crops that have been grown on land that used to be rainforest or natural grassland with a unique ecosystem cannot be considered as sustainable.”

Amid recent news that some biofuels were causing more pollution than some fossil fuels, Günther Oettinger, Commissioner for Energy, said: “We need to make sure that the entire biofuels’ production and supply chain is sustainable. This is why we have set the highest sustainability standards in the world. The schemes recognised on the EU level today are a good example of a transparent and reliable system which ensures that these high standards are met.”

The EU has set an objective to achieve a minimum of 10% renewable energy in transport by 2020. In addition, the greenhouse gas emissions over the whole production chain need to be at least 35% lower compared to fossil fuels.

The seven schemes are: ISCC, Bonsucro EU, RTRS EU RED, RSB EU RED, 2BSvs, RSBA, and Greenergy.