Copa & Cogeca firmly oppose plans to gradually phase out conventional biofuels post-2020, warning that it will increase the use of fossil fuels, carbon emissions, and cut critical animal feed supplies.
The move comes in the run up to release of plans to reform the EU renewable energy directive due out on November 30.
Speaking in Brussels, Copa & Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen said “The EU Commission is planning to substantially reduce the share of conventional biofuels in transport fuel by 2030. It is also planning to increase from 2021 the target for advanced biofuels. But this is unrealistic since advanced biofuels are still in their early stages of development and are not yet commercially viable”.
“Reducing the target would also put quality feed supplies at risk as they help the EU to reduce its protein deficit in animal feed as only a part of the rapeseed, wheat, maize and sugar beet is used to produce biodiesel or bioethanol. The rest is used for feed. It would also reduce the EU’s ability to meet EU climate goals and decarbonise the transport sector . Biofuel outlets give farmers a way to diversify crop production and an alternative source of revenue to produce quality food supplies for a growing world population which is crucial given their low incomes especially now when grain prices are very low and there is a surplus on the market. The market price for cereals has fallen by 40 % over the past 3 years which shows that there is no correlation with EU first generation biofuels policy. Ending EU support for conventional biofuels would cut rapeseed production due to the lack of a rapeseed oil market. Conventional biofuels also help to reduce volatility on the agricultural commodity markets and reduce the use of fossil fuels which are less environmentally-friendly than conventional biofuels”, he added.
Copa & Cogeca consequently argue that conventional biofuels must be kept at 7% until 2030 in order to meet our climate goals and maintain growth and jobs in EU rural areas. For more information, see attached document.