French Constitutional Council rules in favour of ending biofuel benefits for CPO
In France, the Constitutional Council, the highest constitutional authority in the country ruled on October 11, 2019, in favour of excluding crude palm oil (CPO) from the list of biofuel feedstocks that are eligible for tax incentives. The decision enters into force on January 1, 2020.
Back in March, the European Commission decided that palm oil is not an eligible feedstock for renewable fuel tax incentives on account of deforestation issues and should therefore not be promoted. The use of palm oil in renewable diesel and/or biodiesel, which is driven by the EU’s renewable energy targets across the continent, will be gradually reduced as of 2023 and should reach zero in 2030, although exemptions remain.
France’s Constitutional Council, the highest constitutional authority in the country which main purpose is to rule on whether proposed statutes conform with the Constitution, after they have been voted by Parliament and before they are signed into law by the President of the French Republic, ruled in favour of excluding palm oil from the list of biofuels that have tax incentives.
According to the NGO European Federation for Transport and Environment (T&E), the EU is the world’s second-largest importer of crude palm oil in (CPO) and in 2018, more than half (53 percent) of all palm imports were used to make biodiesel for cars and trucks – an all-time high.
This ruling affirms the European Commission’s decision that palm oil diesel be labelled as unsustainable and consequently should not be promoted. We urge other European countries to follow France’s lead and stop forcing drivers to pay for fake ‘green’ fuels that destroy the world’s rainforests and their wildlife, said Laura Buffet, clean fuels director with T&E.