European groups comment on key RED vote in Parliament
The European Parliament took a positive step on the EU’s renewable energy policy, with members of the ITRE committee voting decisively in favor of increasing the ambition to reduce GHG emissions in transport while leaving Member States free to use crop-based biofuels in their transport energy mix.
The ITRE position – adopted by 54 votes for, 14 against, 6 abstentions – largely maintains the framework for plant-based biofuels as suggested by the European Commission, with a harvest cap set at the 2020 final energy consumption of each Member state in transport, allowing +1 percent flexibility with a maximum of 7 percent.
ITRE members reported that biofuels from sustainably produced crops play an important role in decarbonizing transport – today and tomorrow. This is certainly an improvement on the flawed approach to agriculture taken by the ENVI Committee, which would drastically reduce the cap on crop-based biofuels and create a gap in the transport energy mix which should be filled with imported fossil fuels.
It will now be up to the European Parliament as a whole to decide in plenary in September on a final position. With so much at stake on the issues of increasing the EU’s autonomy in energy and feed and food, as underlined in the EU Council statement, it is clear that Parliament must recognize the potential of sustainable crop-based biofuels as an important component of EU renewable energy. and a key supplier of protein-rich co-products to the EU for animal feed to 2030 and beyond.
In light of the current geopolitical context, the EU should fully recognize and maximize the potential of certified sustainable crop-based biofuels to achieve the new EU food and animal security and energy security priorities and policy objectives, while achieving its climate ambitions.
Our sectors are at the crossroads towards climate-neutral food and feed production, fossil fuel substitution and European energy independence, GHG emission reductions and the national bioeconomy. At the same time, policy makers should recognize the synergies between the food, feed and energy value chains in the EU.
•COCERAL – represents trade in grains, oilseeds, pulses, olive oil, oils and fats, animal feed and agricultural supplies
•Copa and Cogeca – represents European farmers and agricultural cooperatives
•European Biodiesel Board (EBB) – represents the European biodiesel industry
•European Renewable Ethanol Association (ePURE) – represents European producers of renewable ethanol
•CLOSED Europe – a multicultural think tank that aims to stimulate reflection on rural economies
•Fediol – represents the interests of the European vegetable oil and protein meal industry
•FEFAC – represents the interests of the European compound feed and premixture industry