Crop-based Biofuels with an important bridging function

ufop_logo_400x300Berlin, 4 April 2019. In a letter to the members of the European Parliament, Wolfgang Vogel, President of the Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP), emphasised the special importance of rape cultivation in the European Union. As a flowering plant, rapeseed is by far the most important raw material for the production of biofuels as well as for the delivery of GM-free feed protein. The reason for the letter is the presentation of the third UFOP report on global market supply. In particular, the Chairman emphasised the bridging function of sustainable certified rapeseed with its tangible contribution to meet climate protection targets and relieve the burden on national budgets.

The report again came to the conclusion that a sufficient supply of food raw materials is guaranteed worldwide. The so-called „tank versus plate“ discussion must be led finally properly, stressed Vogel. The UFOP chairman criticised the oftenly contradictory policy. While the European Union rejects certified sustainable biofuels produced from domestic raw materials for the reduction of greenhouse gases and at the same time for quantity and price control, this instrument is used all the more purposefully for example in Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil or in the USA. This can be seen by the increasing number of legal mandates for the blending of biofuels in fossil fuels. Although the new version of the EU's Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) correctly tightens the requirements for sustainability certification and documentation, it also defuses this instrument by capping crop-based biofuels in the EU at an unacceptable maximum level of 7 percent. At the same time, an agreement was reached with Argentina for the duty-free import of 1.2 million tonnes of soy biodiesel. In addition, a trade dispute with Indonesia and the ASEAN states concerning the treatment of palm oil is currently on the way because the EU is striving for a free trade agreement with the ASEAN states.

The UFOP Chairman reminded the MEPs of the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) to meet the EU's greenhouse gas reduction target of 40% in 2030. Due to the foreseeable failure to meet the target, especially in the transport sector, Germany would have to purchase emission rights from other member states already 2021. Federal Finance Minister Scholz had earmarked EUR 100 million each for this purpose in the financial years 2021 to 2023, which, in the opinion of the UFOP Chairman, will not be sufficient. Refusing the use of the greenhouse gas reduction potential of crop-based biofuels will lead to unnecessarily higher payments of tax revenues in those Member States that implement a less ambitious climate protection policy at national level. This will further undermine public acceptance of climate protection measures, Vogel fears.

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