News & Media

Biofuel debate a political hot potato as EU renewable energy law nears home straight

02 October, 2017

Euractiv begins a week-long Special Report on EU biofuels policy with an overview of the political situation. “Talks over how to decarbonise the EU’s transport fleet are heating up. As policymakers prepare the bloc’s renewable energy targets for 2030, part of the debate has crystallised around the role of biofuels. Under the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive (RED I), the EU committed to generating 20% of its energy mix from renewable sources, while capping the share of biofuels used in the transport sector at 7%. Then, the EU executive proposed a revised Renewable Energy Directive (RED II), to cover the period 2021 to 2030 by increasing the share of renewable energy in the EU’s mix to at least 27% by 2030. However, it aims to cut the use of crop-based biofuels to 3.8% of transport fuel and shift the market towards advanced biofuels. While biofuels burn more cleanly than fossil fuels, producing less carbon dioxide and other pollutants, critics argue that carbon emissions from indirect land-use change (ILUC) are hidden and drive a negative impact for food prices.”