UFOP emphasises the role model function of sustainability certification for biofuels

Berlin, 7 July 2021. - The European Commission has announced the launch of the “Fit for 55” package on 14th July 2021. This will also include proposals for a new amendment to the Renewable Energy Directive 2018/2001/EC (RED II). Overall, the Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants e.V. (UFOP) welcomes the initiative to implement the Green Deal. In a current position paper, the association emphasises the exemplary function of sustainability certification for biofuels and addresses demands on politics.

The German Bundestag has just voted on the law on the further development of the Green-House-Gas (GHG) quota and thus implemented the Renewable Energy Directive, RED II, into national law. All EU member states must implement the directive by 30th June 2021. The practical implementation begins on 1st January 2022. The next amendment is already pending. The background to this is the EU Commission's “Fit for 55” package, which has been announced for mid-July 2021. The extensive legislative package is intended to adapt the regulatory framework of European energy and climate policy to the new climate target, which was raised in April 2021 after long negotiations between the EU Parliament and the EU member states. By 2030, the EU's greenhouse gas emissions are now to be reduced by 55% - instead of the previous 40% - compared to 1990 levels.

In addition to the renewed amendment of the Renewable Energy Sources Directive (RED III) with higher targets for the share of renewable energies in transport, this package also includes proposals for guidelines, for example to amend the energy tax directive, to reform emissions trading and to tighten CO2 limit values ​​for cars and commercial vehicles.

In its position paper (click for download), the UFOP reaffirms and renews its position that with the RED III there is an opportunity to meet the requirements and documentation obligations anchored on the basis of EU legislation for the proof of the sustainability of biofuels from cultivated biomass, residues or waste appropriately and to continue develop them in a legally binding manner especially for third countries. The sustainability certification for biofuels should be developed based on the area under cultivation, regardless of the end product.

The “system of requirements” can be transferred as a blueprint with the certification systems approved by the EU Commission. It also has the advantage that the raw material or biofuel quantities are recorded in a database – differentiated according to raw material types and geographical origins, emphasises the UFOP. The UFOP asks why this could not also be used, for example, for the by-product of the protein component. In Germany, the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE) is responsible, which sets an EU-wide “benchmark” with its annual evaluation and experience report (www.ufop.de/english/policy-sustainability) from the UFOP's point of view.

The UFOP is therefore directing the offer to politicians to develop these options and approaches holistically together with the economy, so that sustainable biofuel production from cultivated biomass can continue to play an important role as a model of a networked and sustainable bioeconomy strategy in the future. The funding union also expects this approach to improve acceptance in agriculture and society.

Download RED III policy paper (pdf, 0,1 MB)