Renewable ethanol association ePure’s secretary general Emmanuel Desplechin has responded to the EU Commission’s draft surrounding high risk indirect land-use change (ILUC) biofuels and the shift of focus away from unsustainable sources of palm oil.
The draft details curbing any biofuels with a high ILUC-risk and its amount of consumption in 2019 within the Member States. The EU also outlined an ambitious goal of reducing any high-risk biofuel’s contribution to 0% by 2030.
“Directive (EU) 2018/2001 also calls for a specific limit to conventional biofuels, bioliquids and biomass fuels with high ILUC-risk and for which a significant expansion of the production area into land with high carbon stock is observed, in the amount of their level of consumption in each Member State in 2019,” the draft stated.
“Starting from 31 December 2023, their contribution should be gradually reduced to 0% by 2030 at the latest.”
Despite the draft’s promising changes to the uses of palm oil, ePure argues that the draft would still ‘allow imported feedstock that violates spirit of RED II agreement’.
“Making an exception for feedstock produced by smallholders isn’t just allowing high-ILUC-risk biofuels such as palm oil into Europe through the back door, it’s allowing it through the front door,” said Desplechin.
“The hard-won compromise reached on RED II couldn’t have been clearer in its message that Europe should phase out biofuels associated with the significant deforestation and peatland drainage that has defined most palm oil expansion.”
“Low-ILUC-risk biofuels certified as such could escape from the phase-out, but these were clearly defined as either produced through improved agricultural practices or from unused land. By inventing a third, alternative criterion for smallholders, the Commission is making a mockery of the agreed RED II compromise.”