Directive on the Promotion of the use of biofuels and other renewable fuels for transport
The Directive on the Promotion of the use of biofuels and other renewable fuels for transport, officially 2003/30/EC and popularly better known as the biofuels directive is a European Union directive for promoting the use of biofuels for EU transport. The directive entered into force in May 2003, and stipulates that national measures must be taken by countries across the EU aiming at replacing 5.75% of all transport fossil fuels (petrol and diesel) with biofuels by 2010.
The directive also called for an intermediate target of 2% by 31 December 2005. The target of 5.75% is to be met by 31 December 2010. The percentages are calculated on the basis of energy content of the fuel and apply to petrol and diesel fuel for transport purposes placed on the markets of member states. Member states are encouraged to take on national "indicative" targets in conformity with the overall target.
On 14 January 2008 the EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas announced the EU is rethinking its biofuel program due to environmental and social concerns and new guidelines must ensure that EU targets are not damaging. The EU official was particularly concerned about the impact of biofuels on rising food prices, rainforest destruction, notably from palm oil production and concern for rich firms driving poor people off their land to convert it to fuel crops. On 18 January 2008 the UK House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee raised similar concerns, and called for a moratorium on biofuel targets. This position echoes the stance of many non-governmental organisations and environmentalists.
- COM(2001) 547, Communication of the European Commission of 7 November 2001 on an Action Plan and two Proposals for Directives to foster the use of Alternative Fuels for Transport, starting with the regulatory and fiscal promotion of biofuels
- COM(2006) 845, Communication of the European Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: Biofuels Progress Report, that proposes to raise the biofuel target to 10% by 2020.
- Related legislation:
- Council Directive 2003/96/EC of 27 October 2003 restructuring the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity
- COM(2007)18: Proposal for a Directive amending Fuel Quality Directive 98/70/EC (also called Directive relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels ), as amended by Directive 2003/17/EC: fuel suppliers should reduce the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from transport fuels from 2011 onward, by 1% year.
Petroleum industry accused of undermining
On 2008-04-29, Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE) released a report stating that oil companies are falsely claiming that the target proposed by the European Commission in revisions to the Fuel Quality Directive is unachievable.
- Food vs fuel
- Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (UK implementation)
- Energy policy of the European Union
- EU rethinks biofuels guidelines By Roger Harrabin bbc.co.uk Monday, 14 January 2008 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7186380.stm
- Committee calls for Moratorium on Biofuels http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/environmental_audit_committee/eac_210108.cfm
- EU renewables policy: doubts and flaws http://www.tni.org/detail_page.phtml?act_id=17839
- 37420 51..51
- Microsoft Word – fuelqualityIAlong.doc
- FoE Europe – Press Release
- BioenergyWiki page on the Renewable Energy Directive
- Directive 2003/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 May 2003 on the promotion of the use of biofuels or other renewable fuels for transport. (OJEU L123 of 17 May 2003)
- European Commission pages on biofuels
- Summary of criticisms of EU biofuels directive