March 6, 2017
We recently objected to the statement of Ms Marie Donnelly (DG ENER), who said that public opinion is against biofuels and therefore we should follow the vox populi, regardless of the facts.
The role of the Commission is to act in the general interest and inform citizens on the basis of objective studies. This is the point of impact assessments and consultations.
Impact assessments are not supposed to be artificial, validating decisions already made in advance. But this is exactly what is happening in the case of first-generation biofuels.
To enable these biofuels to reach 7% of total fuel energy by 2020, industrialists – often co-operatives – have invested considerable resources (€ 8 billion for bioethanol), which must be boosted further to help the circular economy and bioeconomy. But the Commission, deaf to their arguments, intends to maintain its proposal to reduce the contribution of first-generation biofuels from 7% to 3.8% by 2030!
The official reason for this is the need to promote new generation biofuels which apparently cannot be taken over before 2025. Worse, the inappropriate wording of the Commission’s proposal (known as “RED2”) would lead, on the one hand, to a reduction in first-generation biofuels and, on the other, to a proportional increase in fossil fuels in the absence of sufficient capacity in advanced biofuels after 2020.
Agricultural associations and production chains are mobilising, but nothing seems to work. The Commission is sticking to its guns and green NGOs are supporting DG ENER, content to sacrifice the present (and the 220,000 jobs that go with it) to a distant and uncertain future.Daniel Gueguen