UFOP Opposes Introduction of iLUC Factors for Biofuels

UFOP demands investment protection for existing production plants

The Union zur Förderung von Oel- und Proteinpflanzen e.V. (UFOP) opposes the adoption of iLUC factors specific for biofuels. The introduction of excessive malus points for greenhouse gas production starting in 2017 would put an end to the European Biodiesel industry. Therefore, based on the average Biodiesel sales volume of the years 2008 to 2010, UFOP demands investment protection for all existing Biodiesel production plants, UFOP’s vice chairman, Dietmar Brauer, pointed out when visiting the Agritechnica in Hannover.

By rigidly opposing the introduction of iLUC factors, Brauer expressed UFOP’s concern about a study by the IFPRI Institute in Washington, not even confirmed by any neutral scientific body, which is meant to be decisive for the future of the biodiesel production along with the oilseed cultivation in Germany and the European Union.

Brauer clearly expressed UFOP’s intention to face the challenge to detect and develop all options for the minimization of green house gas in cooperation with the oilseed processing and Biodiesel industries. After all, the proof that greenhouse gas is minimized along the production chain, as well as by cultivating rapeseed in the crops rotation cycle in particular, is one of the most important arguments when it comes to gaining public acceptance. Blooming rapeseed fields are not only the prettiest but also the most sustainable oil fields, Brauer emphasized.

The already tightened requirement of the Directive for Renewable Energy to reduce green house gas from 35 % now to 50 % in 2017 as a pre-requisite to gain access to the market is already an ambitious objective. According to Brauer, UFOP states that based on existing studies, an iLUC effect for the Biodiesel production is not verifiable so far. There is no scientific verification for any ‘cause and effect’ relation for the Biodiesel quantities marketed today. The study has not even been reassessed by relevant experts.

UFOP’s vice chairman welcomed the fact that the EU Commission continues to adhere to the aim that the share of renewable energy within the transport sector must amount to 10 % at least (since 2010). As a result, strategies for most efficient European rapeseed cultivation with high crop yield needs to be developed and spurred on, which would provide the Biodiesel industry with an important pillar for its feedstock supply.

UFOP demands investment protection based on the average Biodiesel sales volume of the years 2008 to 2010 (amounting to 10 million tons of Biodiesel) for existing production plants, so that the economically essential incentive can be maintained. Brauer claimed that if Biodiesel traded within the EU exceeds this basic quantity, it must stem from so-called iLUC-free acreage.

UFOP assumes that particularly in Eastern Europe potential acreage is still available which can be developed additionally for the production of rapeseed and biomass.Brauer announced that UFOP will present a profound study to foot this thesis as soon as possible. By doing so, one would create the necessary incentive to not only develop this acreage for the Biodiesel industry but also for food production considering the crops rotation scheme. Therefore, UFOP demands of the Federal Government to appeal to the EU Commission accordingly before it presents a suggestion concerning the alteration of the Directive for Renewable Energy.

At the same time UFOP appeals to the EU Commission to not forfeit its influence on the biomass cultivation in third countries by introducing iLUC factors. Any requirements must be in line with achievable specifications otherwise the end of biomass production geared at sustainability would be in sight. After all, there would be other purchasers for European biomass on the global market,