The ILUC directive, which amends the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) and the Fuel Quality Directive (98/70/EC), was approved in the Parliament Plenary vote today. This marks the beginning of the end of a 3-year long process to legislate on greenhouse gas emissions from indirect land use changes caused by biofuel production. Council is expected to ratify the legislation in June.
The final compromise text was broadly endorsed by Parliament with 531 votes for, 132 against and 27 abstentions. The deal includes a 7% cap on first generation biofuels until 2020 and a non-binding 0,5% target for advanced biofuels. Furthermore, it eliminates the double accounting of advanced biofuels towards the targets of the Renewable Energy Directive. CEPF supported the Parliament’s more ambitious proposal for a binding target for advanced biofuels, where the forest resource plays a crucial role, but this was pushed back by Council in the compromise.
CEPF very much welcomes the broad inclusion of forest-based resources in the list of feedstock for advanced biofuels and the exclusion of the cascading principle from the sustainability criteria of the Renewable Energy Directive.
In his statement to the Parliament, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, placed ILUC in the broader context of the Energy Union, where it can be a basis for the development of a post-2020 integrated policy, which includes biofuels. The Parliament rapporteur MEP Nils Torvalds (ALDE, FI) emphasised the importance of having stable rules for industry to prevent investments from moving elsewhere. However, he concluded that with technological progress moving so fast we will probably have to come back to this issue within the next years to come – meaning, the struggle goes on.