On 4 December, the European Council of Ministers adopted the EU’s new Renewable Energy Directive (REDII), which sets a minimum blending mandate for advanced biofuels beginning in 2022.

The Leaders of Sustainable Biofuels (LSB), a coalition of advanced biofuel producers, said this was a “decisive step” forward in promoting the decarbonisation of EU transportation.

Bioenergy International wrote that the European Parliament and the EU member states emphasised the important role advanced biofuels would play in the EU’s target of achieving 14% renewable energy use in transport by 2030. The directive includes a mandate to use advanced biofuels of at least 0.2% in 2022, 1% in 2025 and 3.5% in 2030.

In a statement, the LSB said it welcomed the adoption of REDII after years of constant uncertainty, saying it was a “much-needed incentive” to escalate the advanced biofuels industry and that the measures were needed to assist “rapid and deep reductions” in transport emissions.

REDII also includes targets for renewables to account for 32% of EU energy usage by 2030 and a 32.5% increase in energy efficiency by 2030. Each member state will be required to present a 10-year national energy and climate plan with targets, policies and measures by the end of 2019 and every 10 years after. These targets would be reviewed in 2023 but can only be raised, not lowered. From 2019 until 2030, first-generation biofuels will be steadily phased out because they are considered to have a high risk for indirect land use change.