The measures planned by Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke to reduce the share of biofuels in the transport sector will increase greenhouse gas emissions by about 80 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030.
“The proposal would drastically lower the cap for sustainable biofuels made from cultivated biomass, thereby limiting the only possibility currently available to reduce CO2 emissions in road transport. The Federal Environment Minister is thus creating a giant void in climate change mitigation,” said Norbert Schindler, chairman of the German Bioethanol Industry Association (BDBe).
Biofuels currently account for 98% of renewable energy consumed in the transport sector and reduce CO2 emissions by about 13 million tonnes per year.
Replacing the contribution they make to climate change mitigation in the short to medium term is impossible from today’s perspective.
He added: “The proposal for quadruple counting of electricity does not change this because it is merely an accounting trick that does not actually lead to a real reduction in emissions. The BDBe points out that just six months ago the greenhouse gas reduction quota was revised up to 2030 and the possibility of using biofuels was severely restricted.“
Using the Ukraine war and the associated price increases on global agricultural markets as justification to cut the upper limit for biofuel use in half again is only logical at first glance. Lemke’s proposal merely suggests that global food supply shortages could be eliminated by limiting domestic production of biofuels.
However, the quantities of domestic feed grain processed into bioethanol are not suitable for human consumption in terms of quality and also only account for a small share of the grain harvest. Moreover, they are not cultivated specifically for biofuel production.
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