European Parliament's approval of the Climate and Energy Package provides the European biotech industry with a predictable business environment to develop advanced biofuels
17 December 2008 Brussels
The European Biotech Industry Association (EuropaBio) congratulates the European Parliament and the Council of Europe on passing the Climate Action and Renewable Energy Package. EuropaBio appreciates the effort involved in approving this Package within a year of the Proposal's publication by the European Commission.
The biotech industry welcomes the mandatory 10% target for road transport fuels coming from renewable energies by 2020. This will provide industry with a predictable environment to develop a strong biofuels sector in
Europeand invest in innovation for advanced biofuels. "Setting a two-step approach (35-50%) for the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission savings threshold, together with incentives for second-generation biofuels will drive public support and increase private sector investment in research and development to speed up the development and commercialisation of second generation or advanced biofuels" said Kirsten Birkegaard Staer, Chair of EuropaBio's Biofuels Task Force.
EuropaBio believes it is essential that the emerging biofuels sector is built on sound sustainability principles. The main driver of the renewable energy directive is to achieve environmental, societal as well as economical benefits. It is important that the long-term political and public support will be dependent on biofuels being seen to deliver on these goals in a sustainable and a socially responsible manner. The criteria as outlined in the renewable energy directive provide a good basis for the sustainability of transport fuel. However it is crucial for their adequate implementation by industry and Member States to develop clear guidelines or international standards.
EuropaBio agrees with the European Parliament on the importance of addressing the potential impact of land-use change. EuropaBio welcomes the decision to require the Commission to carry out a review on indirect impact and bring forward a proposal based on scientific evidence. However we recognize the significant scientific uncertainty in evaluating indirect effects and believe that the current objective of defining a method by 2010 to quantify it seems to be very optimistic. To minimize land-use change, EuropaBio supports an approach to increase productivity and pace biofuels development at a rate consistent with food production together with support for advanced biofuel technologies.
Europe's policy makers for the work they have done to develop the renewable energy sector. Biofuels are essential to realising a low carbon society and energy security, and for this goal, every solution, including biofuels is important. A coherent policy environment such as the one envisioned in the Climate Action and Renewable Energy Package will provide much needed support to industry's investment and innovation" said Willy De Greef, EuropaBio Secretary General.