ePURE: EU rejects attempt to further limit sustainable biofuels

By ePURE | September 14, 2022

The European Parliament voted today to keep a limited but vital role for sustainable biofuels such as renewable ethanol in reducing greenhouse-gas emissions from EU transport.

MEPs rejected amendments that would have placed further restrictions on European crop-based biofuels, which are already capped at a maximum of 7 percent of Member States’ road and rail energy and are subject to strict sustainability criteria. Additional restrictions would have made it harder for Member States to reach their decarbonisation objectives and opened the door to more imports of fossil fuel. MEPs voted widely to keep the existing cap in place, in line with the Commission’s proposal.

“The European Parliament has wisely ignored an onslaught of misleading claims about the sustainability of European biofuels such as renewable ethanol, and instead supported a continuing role for this important renewable energy source in the decarbonisation of EU transport,” said David Carpintero, director general of ePURE, the European renewable energy association.

“European biorefineries make a strategic contribution to EU food security and energy independence,” Carpintero added. “Everyone agrees on the need to move beyond fossil fuels, and renewable ethanol is a domestic EU solution that is immediate, cost-effective, sustainable and socially inclusive. As final negotiations between the European Commission, Parliament and Member States kick off, we will be working to ensure this role for sustainable biofuels is preserved. The only alternative is an unacceptable one: opening the door to more imported fossil fuel.”

Renewable ethanol from ePURE members reduced GHG emissions by 77 percent compared to fossil fuel in 2021, when its production created more feed than fuel. ePURE members' ethanol production in 2021 required less than 1.8 million hectares (Mha) of European arable land, equivalent to only 1.7 percent of the total arable land of EU27 and the U.K.