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EU REDII sets a stable future for solid and liquid and biofuels

In Europe, Copa and Cogeca notes that the final approach of the EU Renewable Energy Directive (REDII), adopted November 13 by the European Parliament, will provide a long-term stable policy for the future. “The compromise deal gives a positive signal. It is good news that the EU will have an overall renewable energy target of 32 percent and a binding blending obligation on fuel suppliers of at least 14 percent, without technological restrictions, says Pekka Pesonen, Secretary-General.

Pesonen also noted that it was “helpful” that the maximum accountable share for crop-based biofuels used in transport will be maintained at 7 percent until 2030 as it will give biofuel producers a long-term stable framework to work with.

However, we do have some concerns. EU crop-based biofuels will not have the opportunity to expand because the phasing out of palm oil has been postponed until 2030. This is especially unfortunate, since EU crop-based biofuels generate protein rich co-products for use in feed which livestock producers need. An opportunity to add to the circular economy will be missed. They also play an increasing role in stabilising agricultural markets facing volatility. We would like to see the Commission respect the deadline of the February 1, 2019 for the publication of the delegated act determining the high ILUC risk feedstocks for which significant expansion of production area into land with high carbon stock is necessary. It is also disappointing that the Directive still contains artificial multipliers which gives the wrong impression of the true environmental impact, Pesonen warned.

For forest bioenergy, Pesonen said that it is “positive” to see that the Directive takes account of existing legislation on forests and forest management in the EU Member States.

We need to make sure that implementation of the updated Directive will ensure stability for current and planned investments and simplification both at EU and national level. We are disappointed that the final compromise maintains the possibility for Member States to include additional sustainability requirements for forest bioenergy, said Pesonen.

However, Pesonen also highlighted that the final decision is not “fully consistent” with other policy areas such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in which biofuel production plays a crucial role in providing farmers with an additional source of income, domestic protein feed production and help with stabilising agricultural commodity markets.

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