UFOP Chairman welcomes coalition's ambition on climate protection and calls for inclusion of biofuels


Berlin, 25 November 2021 - The Chairman of the UFOP, Detlef Kurreck, welcomes the aim of the new government coalition to protect the climate. Detlef Kurreck welcomes the goal of the new government coalition to place climate protection at the centre of government action. However, in order to tackle the major challenges, especially in the transport sector, a technology-open approach is necessary, which also includes the further development of the combustion engine using sustainably produced biofuels. This would also strengthen the domestic protein supply. This is an important element of the further development of the protein crop strategy announced in the coalition agreement.

After reviewing the coalition agreement presented yesterday by the Social Democrat Party (SPD), the Green Party (Bündnis90/DIE GRÜNEN) and the Free Democratic Party (FDP), the UFOP welcomes the fact that the new government is placing the challenges of climate change at the centre of its policy, said UFOP Chairman Kurreck. The UFOP strongly supports the objective of the Paris climate targets and achieving the 1.5 degree target.
The new coalition's clear focus on innovation and research is also to be welcomed. This should further accelerate the energy transition and the expansion of renewable energies and lead to further progress in the defossilisation of the transport sector. However, the stipulation to say goodbye to combustion engine technology contradicts this objective. In order to achieve the ambitious climate goals, a technology-open and holistic approach is needed instead, which also includes the further development of the combustion engine using sustainably produced biofuels. Because these biofuels are also inextricably linked to the supply of domestic protein animal feed. The new German government wants to promote sector coupling. This welcome approach should not only take into account the production of renewable electricity and its various applications, but also, as a result of the extensification of arable farming announced in the coalition agreement, the income-generating compensation and value-added effects for agriculture associated with biofuels from domestic cultivation, Kurreck emphasised.

The UFOP chairman is therefore positive about the further development of the protein crop strategy announced in the coalition agreement, which in a broader sense also includes rapeseed cultivation as the most important domestic source of protein. This had also been part of the UFOP's demands for the elections oft he German Parliament. The protein crop strategy of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) must be further developed into a national protein strategy in dialogue with the trade associations and implemented consistently. This also includes a review of the currently planned regulations in the eco-regulations of the national implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy oft he EU (CAP).

UFOP is critical of the coalition's planned exclusive focus on the promotion and development of electromobility and the development of the hydrogen strategy, as the market ramp-up of these technologies will take several years and require considerable investments. In view of the fact that there will still be around 30 million vehicles with internal combustion engines in 2030, immediate action is needed in the transport sector, e.g. through the increased use of highly efficient biofuels with optimised greenhouse gas emissions.

UFOP takes a positive view of the future government's commitment to a new future for bioenergy in Germany. To this end, a sustainable biomass strategy is to be developed. UFOP is available with its network of experts for the development of a roadmap. The UFOP demands that this strategy also recognise the considerable climate protection contribution of today's biofuels from cultivated biomass and that they continue to play a firm role in the future, for example in freight transport or in agricultural machinery.

However, Kurreck misses a clear commitment of the future federal government to the new breeding technologies in the draft coalition agreement. He welcomes the fact that the coalition parties want to support the breeding of climate-friendly plant varieties. However, there was no statement on the methods to be used to make these varieties quickly available for agricultural practice.