ePURE calls for long-term policy support of biobased economy

By ePURE | October 14, 2014

Brussels--On the occasion of a high-level Policy Conference in Brussels, ePURE is calling for European policy makers to introduce a long-term policy framework to support the broadening of Europe’s network of biorefineries by 2030. Such a framework would include targets for European Union transport to encourage the continued use of renewable ethanol as a fuel in transport.

The high-level Policy Conference, which is themed “European biorefineries: realizing the potential of the biobased economy” – took place in the European Parliament on Oct. 14, brought together a wide spectrum of stakeholders, including: Commission and national Government officials, industry, civil society and inter-governmental organizations. It explored the role of biorefineries as a catalyst for the development of a new biobased economic system, the importance of this new system to Europe and the policy framework and conditions required to realize its full potential.

Speaking on the occasion of the Policy Conference, Jérôme Bignon, president of ePURE said, “European renewable ethanol biorefineries are an essential building block of the biobased economy, and have already made a very significant contribution to addressing some of the big challenges facing Europe: such as helping to displace imports of crude oil and animal feed, of which the EU is over 70 percent dependent. Biorefineries and renewable ethanol are more important to Europe’s future than ever, and realizing their potential is an opportunity that Europe must seize.”

Europe’s biorefineries are helping to revitalize European agriculture and rural communities by generating new income streams for farmers; stimulating investment in agricultural and transport infrastructure; boosting farm efficiency and crop yields; and creating high-skilled green jobs in rural areas. They are also increasing Europe’s energy security by replacing imported oil in petrol and reducing transport sector greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. European biobased innovations and technology also make it possible to use waste and residues streams for the production of advanced biofuels.

“Creating a stable, long-term policy framework to support renewable ethanol biorefineries is essential if Europe is to realize the potential of this new biobased based economic system,” said Robert Wright, new secretary general, ePURE. “That is why we are calling for European policy makers to support a strong network of European biorefineries by introducing new goals for EU transport as part of the EU 2030 climate and energy package. Such goals must support the use of European renewable ethanol which has substantial net GHG emissions savings.”

The untapped potential of Europe’s biorefineries can be illustrated by the fact that if 10 percent of all petrol in Europe was substituted with renewable ethanol, it would reduce Europe’s GHG emissions by 14.6 million metric tons CO2e annually, equivalent to taking nearly 9 million cars off Europe’s roads for a year. It would also further reduce the oil imports bill by 4 billion euros, and create over 55,000 new jobs.

To learn more: http://www.epure.org/believe/