In its report to the EU Council and EU Parliament dated December 2010 the EU Commission presents four options:
1. No measures and continued monitoring instead.
2. Raise the minimum value for greenhouse gas saving (currently 35 per cent).
3. Additional sustainability requirements for specific biofuels.
4. ILUC factors imposed as a "CO2 penalty" on the greenhouse gas balance sheet.
Since the contract was awarded and especially since its publication in October 2011 the so-called IFPRI study has been the subject of intense discussion by national and European farmers' associations and biofuel associations. UFOP recalls that the Renewable Energy Directive entered into force in June 2009, as the major part of biodiesel production capacity had already been built up. There is a duty to protect the legitimate expectations that lie behind these investments.
The EU objective of 10 percent fuels from renewable sources in 2020 can be achieved with biomass from European acreage and without land use changes outside the EU. Thanks to agricultural policy initiatives, such as the reform of the sugar market organisation, in recent years almost one million hectares of usable surface area have been freed up. In addition, by 2020, primarily through increases in yield, 15 to 20 million hectares could be freed up, which would then be available for energy production without any less food or feedstuff being produced. The by-products generated on a large scale during the production of biodiesel or bioethanol could also replace large quantities of feedstuffs imported to the EU.
An ILUC factor would not prevent changes in land use. Just as forests in Germany are protected by the German Forest Act, so must the natural environment in Brazil or Indonesia also be protected by national laws. Here the EU must act as a negotiating partner so that appropriate biotope protection laws are passed in a timely fashion and are also monitored in respect of their observance. It is an illusion to believe that protection of the rainforest can be achieved by an EU regulation at the expense of European farmers.
If ILUC factors are introduced, however, the directive must then be changed to grant the agriculture industry greater flexibility at the level of raw materials production. The following approaches would be up for discussion:
- Taking the preceding crop effect into account regarding the N-fertilisation
- Taking into account the crop rotation, i.e. distribution of the GHG balance as an average of the crop rotation instead of related to the particular crop type
- Taking into account grain legumes in the rapeseed crop rotation
- Appropriate consideration of the by-product rapeseed meal for the purposes of soya substitution