Introducing a greenhouse gas reduction obligation for fuels throughout Europe and achieving continuous increases of the quota in Germany until 2020

During the international conference “Fuels of the Future”, the German biofuel industry promotes the introduction of a European-wide GHG reduction obligation for fuels and calls for enhanced climate protection on the basis of continuous increases of the existing GHG reduction quota in Germany until 2020

Berlin, 18 January 2016 – More than 500 participants from over 30 countries have followed the invitation launched by five associations from the German biofuel industry to get an overview of market trends, political framework conditions, technological innovations and the future of mobility on occasion of the international conference “Fuels of the Future”, which will be held on 18 - 19 January 2016 in Berlin. The conference is organized jointly by the German BioEnergy Association (BBE), the Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP), the German Bioethanol Industry Association (BDBe), the Association of the German Biofuel Industry (VDB) and the German Biogas Association.

Since 1 January 2015, the petrol industry has been legally obliged to reduce the GHG emissions of their transport fuels by 3.5 percent. As a result of the conversion from an energy-based biofuel quota to the respective GHG quota, the biofuel share in fossil fuels has decreased. The legal requirement could be met with a smaller amount of biofuel as the GHG balance of biodiesel and bioethanol has improved significantly over the recent years. “From the point of view of the biofuel sector, the decision to extend the oil industry’s obligation to reduce their GHG emissions to up to 4 percent by 2017, as stipulated by the amendment of the Federal Emissions Protection Law, is not enough. The quota has to be raised earlier and include stepwise increases each year, if we want to realize the climate protection targets”, says Artur Auernhammer, Member of the German Bundestag and Chairman of the BBE, adding that, in order to enhance climate protection through sustainably produced biofuels in the transport sector on a broader scale, the petrol industry throughout the European Union must be obliged to strengthen its GHG reduction commitment.

A general point of criticism of the biofuel industry concerns the lack of planning certainty for the time after 2020. The amendment to the EU Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/ EC) and the EU Fuel Quality Directive (2009/30 / EC), which entered into force in September 2015, does not extend beyond the year 2020. At the same time, the period between 2016 and 2020 does not provide the prospects needed for investments in a sustainable and economic production on an industrial scale.

Artur Auernhammer: “There is a need for a continuous technology-open competition in the biofuel sector beyond 2020 in which biofuels of the first and the second generation can contribute to climate and resource protection. Certified sustainable biofuels from Europe must be a key element in the European decarbonisation strategy both at present and beyond 2020”.

Moreover, the European biofuels industry has become a role model for the development of other biofuel uses in the bioeconomy, which is due to the fact that biofuels must be certified sustainable in Europe. Artur Auernhammer: “Because of the already existing infrastructure, biofuels are currently the only directly feasible way and economically viable approach for realizing the ambitious climate protection targets in the transport sector while giving a guarantee for the sustainable use of biomass.”

On 18 January 2016, representatives from the industry and politics will talk about the complex issues surrounding the development until 2020 and beyond in a panel discussion. Participants: Jo Howes (Principal Consultant, e4Tech), Bernd Kuepker (Policy Officer, European Commission - DG Energy), Claus Sauter (Chairman of the Board, Verbio AG), Henrik Erämetsä (Head of US Federal Affairs, Neste), Joachim Lutz (Spokesman of the Management Board, CropEnergies AG), Detlef Evers, Managing Director, MVaK e.V.