Sustainable crop-based biofuels provided with an opportunity to reassert their sustainability credentials, yet targets underplay their value in a sustainable and secure energy mix
BRUSSELS, 16 September 2022 – UNICA is encouraged that biofuels, and in particular ethanol, were recognised in today’s European Parliament plenary vote on RED III for their valuable role in European energy policy and will remain included as part of Europe’s sustainable energy mix.
However, as Europe seeks to increase the use of renewable fuels and speed up the energy transition, today’s vote still sees Member States limited in their ability to leverage sustainable crop-based biofuels. The existing cap of 7% was not challenged, and directly impedes the increased use of ethanol as an immediate, cost-effective, and socially inclusive solution to reducing transport emissions despite impeccable environmental credentials. Ethanol producers in Brazil actively participate in land conservation and biodiversity, and biofuel producers issuing carbon bonds are audited in their commitment to zero deforestation under the national biofuel policy RenovaBio, in line with Brazil’s Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Climate Agreement.
“Ethanol can provide – and already does in countries around the world – an immediately implementable and affordable policy solution to help decarbonise transport in the face of the climate crisis,” noted Eduardo Leão de Sousa, Executive Director of UNICA. “Biofuel consumption is a necessary pathway if we want to meet current climate targets, 20% blending is already compatible with the majority of vehicles on the road, and our experience shows us it works.”
As we look to the future, we are encouraged by the continued support for the potential of advanced biofuels, and hope that in time they will be integrated more holistically into renewable energy strategies. The industry has already proven its ability to deliver incredibly efficient biofuels, such as sugarcane ethanol with a GHG reduction coefficient of over 71%, which exceed current greenhouse gas emissions saving criteria and are available on the market today.