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Energy ministers take a wrong turn in drive for EU transport decarbonisation

New Council position lets Member States lower their renewable energy targets

BRUSSELS, 19 December –  The agreement by EU energy ministers to roll back ambitions for renewable energy use in transport is an unfortunate turn in the wrong direction for the fight against climate change.

The new Council proposal allows Member States to reduce their targets for renewable energy in transport if they lower the cap on crop-based biofuels below the previously agreed 7%. Coupled with the use of artificial multipliers for other renewable energy sources, this would have a double-barrelled effect leaving more room in the EU’s post-2020 transport energy mix for fossil fuel and of harming development of sustainable domestically produced biofuels like renewable ethanol.

“Now more than ever, Europe needs to foster renewable energy uptake in transport if it wants to meet its climate goals and achieve its ambition of at least 27% renewable share in its energy mix,” said Emmanuel Desplechin, Secretary General of ePURE, the European renewable ethanol association. “Maintaining the 7% cap for crop-based biofuels – including renewable European ethanol, which delivers significant GHG reductions – in a firm obligation is essential.”

“The EU needs to agree a clear way forward for its biofuels policy after years of policy uncertainty,” Desplechin added. “Only a stable policy framework can restore investors’ confidence and allow existing biofuels operations to run. As it stands now, the European Commission, Parliament and Council are all sending mixed messages, with fossil fuels as the only clear winner.”

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