Deal on RED II delivers strong EU ambitions on renewables in transport

Saturday, June 16, 2018

On June 14th, in Strasbourg, informal trialogue negotiations between the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission delivered a deal on the post-2020 EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED II).The deal includes an ambitious 32% target for renewables in the EU by2030, and a 14% renewables target for the transport sector.

Although EU biodiesel producers fear being penalised by unjustified limitations, today’s deal may provide a constructive framework towards decarbonizing the EU transport sector

By keeping crop-based biofuels such as biodiesel stable at 7%,the agreement
recognizes their importance for the EU’s transport mix, however EU biodiesel producers fear being penalised by unjustified limitations and caps on the use of food-based crops and wastes to produce biodiesel. EBB (European Biodiesel Board) considers those limitations as excessive and indefensible, particularly
those based on non-scientifically demonstrated ILUC theories. Furthermore, the benefits of vegetable proteins arising from biodiesel production should have been more thoroughly considered.

The EBB welcomes the agreement to put in place a single European database for traceability of biofuels to ensure biofuel sustainability. It also  recognizes the added value of advanced biodiesel from wastes and residues by allowing Member States to incentivise their use with double counting.

Capping the use of wastes is inexplicable as these should continue to play a key role in replacing fossil fuels in the transport sector.

The industry must stress however that delay to investment is still a risk because of continued uncertainty around the implementation of future regulations,
particularly regarding biofuels from food crops.
Commenting on the agreement, Mr. Raffaello Garofalo, EBB Secretary General, stated: “The EBB welcomes the ambitious 32% overall target for renewables, coupled with the crucial 14% target for renewables in transport. Although this reinforces the EU’s strong push to decarbonize its transport sector and is a step forward in delivering on COP 21’s ambitions, we are perplexed about the unclear limitations targeting the use of food crops biofuels and we must be vigilant about
how the RED II Directive will be implemented in practice.”

Although somewhat mitigated, the deal unfortunately kept high multipliers for electricity in road and rail which will hinder the overall ambition of the targets agreed. Mr. Garofalo considered that “these unreasonable multipliers can artificially inflate the uptake of renewable energy and, most importantly,
would not deliver any additional GHG emission reductions, requiring additional efforts from Member States to meet their non-ETS emissions reduction obligations.

Before becoming EU law, the agreement should now be confirmed by EU Member States and the European Parliament’s plenary. Looking forward to the implementation phase, Mr. Garofalo concluded: “Progressive and pragmatic implementation of the RED II by Member States will be crucial  for the delivery of real and meaningful decarbonization of the transport sector. The EBB is fully available to engage with policy makers in this process and to help ensure that full traceability of all biofuels used in Europe is properly implemented.”