As negotiators finalise the EU’s renewable energy policy for 2020-2030, they are grappling with different visions for how to decarbonise transport – and for what real ambition on renewable energy looks like.
Here are some important guiding principles: four things EU policymakers need to keep in mind as they try to agree on a new policy framework that protects existing investments in biofuels and fosters innovation in advanced technology.
The EU needs real results on renewable energy, without letting Member States use ‘multipliers’ that cover up for fossil fuels. That means keeping sustainable ethanol in the EU energy mix.
EU ethanol delivers 66% greenhouse gas savings over petrol now and keeps getting better. Europe should not turn back on sustainable biofuels – especially with transport emissions rising.
Second-generation (2G) biofuels like cellulosic ethanol are important and will deliver big on decarbonisation if we set the right policy now. Innovation depends on supporting sustainable crop-based (1G) technology.
Not all biofuels are created equal. The EU should limit the use of biofuels like palm oil that drive peatland drainage, but support those that contribute to GHG reduction and food security, like EU ethanol.