Transport & Environment says leaked EU biofuels proposal would boost GHG emissions

In Belgium, Transport & Environment says the European Commission’s leaked draft proposal to continue supporting land-based biofuels until 2030 will increase greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from European transport over the period 2021-2030 by an amount equivalent to the emissions from the Netherlands in 2014. These are extra emissions from using these biofuels instead of regular diesel and petrol.

The draft proposal would also make EU transport’s GHG emissions look 478 million tonnes lower than they actually are over the period 2021-2030, compared with a phaseout of first-generation biodiesel in 2025 and first-generation bioethanol in 2030. This is because biofuels count as zero-emissions fuel in the draft proposal [1]. The extra emissions and the ‘hot air’ that the loophole would introduce is equivalent to the total emissions of France in 2014.

Annex X of the leaked Renewable Energy Directive states the Commission’s intention to continue promoting land-based biofuels and have them account for 3.8% of transport fuels in 2030. This is a mere 1.1% reduction from the 4.9% biofuels share in transport achieved already in 2014, and almost a contradiction of the Commission’s own Strategy for Low Emission Mobility that promised ‘phaseout of food-based biofuels’ in July.

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