EU approves RED report calling for end to crop-based biofuels
December 01, 2017
The European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee has voted to adopt a controversial report in the process to revamp the bloc’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED).
The 43-13 vote on 28 November affirmed the MEPs intention to reinstate a 2030 target of having 12% of Europe’s transport fuel supply consist of renewable fuels, according to a statement by European ethanol association ePure on the day.
The committee also added another 10% obligation for fuel suppliers to blend in low-emission fuels but, at the same time, voted to prevent member states from using crop-based biofuels.
A clause that would have also banned palm oil-based biodiesel was included in the report earlier, but it was struck out earlier in November by the parliament’s transport committee.
The directive proposal will next be sent for debate at the Council of Ministers, after which it will be moved into three-way talks with the European Commission and Parliament.
The ethanol association hoped that the ban on crop-based ethanol would be removed from the directive before its final version becomes binding.
“It will now be up to the Plenary of the European Parliament and member states to fix this,” said Emmanuel Desplechin, secretary general of ePure.
“In their vote in January, MEPs need to move the parliament’s position closer to what Council has spelled out coherently in its proposed position,” he said.
Desplechin suggested building new rules on top of the existing 7% cap on crop-based biofuels and promoting advanced biofuels as part of an overall renewables target in transport.
“It is only by embracing all of these solutions and by combining low-carbon fuels like ethanol with renewable electricity that the EU will have any chance of meeting its climate goals for transport,” Desplechin concluded.