The European Union (EU) countries of Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands have issued a joint statement calling for stricter detection and investigation of biodiesel fraud cases.
In the 25 May statement, the signatory countries said it was “crucial” that biofuels and renewable fuels were “without a doubt sustainable”.
The statement comes as an increasing amount of renewable energy is needed in the transport industry to contribute to the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) targets and to the overall European climate target of 55% greenhouse gas reduction in 2030.
RED II states that the use of high risk indirect land use change (ILUC) biofuels must be capped at 2019 levels until 2023, and then phased out by 2030.
“Recent biodiesel fraud cases have undermined the confidence that citizens, the market and member states need to have in the sustainability of this market,” the statement said.
Certification and private oversight alone were not sufficient to structurally guarantee sustainability, according to the statement.
“The cases have shown us that consistent and stronger public supervision on the European market is necessary to reduce the risk of fraud, since public supervision bodies have the competence to actually commit to truth finding and check whether or not data is correct,” the statement added.
The statement said that the European minimum requirement for public supervision in the RED II should go beyond the current scope of article 30(9), which required that “competent authorities of the Member States shall supervise the operation of certification bodies that are conducting independent auditing under a voluntary scheme”.
The signatories welcomed the RED II revision to bring the ambitions for transport in line with the goals of the European Green Deal and to further ensure that the level of supervision was equipped to cope with the upscaling market.
They also called on the European Commission to review all options that strengthened both public and private supervision to ensure that the sustainability criteria were upheld.
In the statement, the signatories said they supported the extension of the minimum requirement for public supervision of RED II article 30(9), which obliged member states to also supervise all links in the supply chain within the member state.
The countries also demanded a “quick and ambitious deployment” of the European database mentioned in article 28 of the directive, with the establishment of an EU supervision body charged with detecting and investigating suspicious trends from the database.
The EU published its revised RED II in December 2018, which covers the 2021/30 period and came into force on 1 January this year.