EU TO PHASE OUT PALM BIODIESEL BY 2021 AND VEGOIL-BASED BIODIESEL BY 2030Thursday, November 23, 2017
The European Union has decided to phase out support for vegetable oil-based biodiesel by 2030 and palm oil-based biodiesel by 2021 following a revamp of its Renewable Energy Directive (RED). The Environment Committee of the European Parliament proposed to remove all food-based biofuels from the European fuel supply but, in a vote last month, members of the parliament (MEP) decided to spare some fuels, such as bioethanol and crops grown on marginal land, from the phase-out, according to Fuels and Lubes.
MEPs also voted to increase the overall advanced fuels target to 9% of total fuel supply by 2030, while rejecting a general overall target for the transport sector, which would have required the use of food-based biofuels, the same source said. Transport & Environment, an NGO promoting sustainable transport policies, said that the high mandate for advanced biofuels could turn out to be unsustainable due to the limited availability of feedstocks.
“This vote puts the EU clean fuels policy on a cleaner track, but it still leaves the door open to some food-based biofuels in 2030,” said Laura Buffet, Transport & Environment clean fuels manager. According to Buffet, 53% of vegetable oil feedstocks used in Europe in 2015, including rapeseed, palm and soya oils, were imported. However, eight European associations representing the biofuel supply chain including Fediol, the European Biodiesel Board and ePURE said the vote “wrongly penalised” conventional biofuels and undermined the EU’s climate and sustainability goals.