Biodiesel: UFOP demands a 4.5 percent rather than a 3 percent greenhouse gas reduction quota

Berlin, 09 April 2014 – In a letter to Barbara Hendricks, German Federal Minister for the Environment, the Chairman of UFOP (Union zur Förderung der Oel- und Proteinpflanzen - Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants), Wolfgang Vogel, has demanded that the obligation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) planned for 2017 be brought forward to 1 January 2015 at the level of 4.5%. UFOP's Chairman justifies his demand with the fear of a sharp drop in sales of biodiesel if the change from the present system of energy quotas, as provided by current legislation, were to take place with only a mandatory 3 percent reduction in GHG emissions.

Vogel points out that, by introducing the GHG reduction quota on 1 January 2015, Germany is going it alone in the EU without being aware of the administrative requirements for the interfaces concerned, starting with the product distribution stage and through to the oil economy, to which the quota obligations apply. The rape-seed harvest is due in July, so the time remaining for implementation of the administrative regulations is running out.

In his letter, Vogel also criticises the discriminatory treatment between biofuels from waste oils and conventional biodiesel. GHG efficiency would for the first time become a competition-determining factor. With the GHG default value of 0g CO2/MJ, biodiesel from waste oils is being wrongly advantaged. According to a study conducted by the German Research Centre for Biomass - (Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum - DBFZ), the costs for collection and transportation and also for processing have not been appropriately evaluated. The Chairman therefore advises an urgent review. The Federal Government should take a stand against the EU Commission in this matter. In addition to this, the national certification criteria in accordance with the 36th Federal Pollution Control Act should be further tightened to prevent any possible fraudulent activities.