Directive on the Promotion of the use of biofuels and other renewable fuels for transport

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Directive 2003/30/EC
European Union directive
Title Directive on the Promotion of the use of biofuels and other renewable fuels for transport
Made by European Parliament & Council
Journal reference L123, 17 June 2003, pp. 42–46
Other legislation
Replaced by Directive 2009/28/EC
Repealed

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.

Legislation[edit]

  • 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[1]
  • COM(2006) 845, Communication of the European Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: Biofuels Progress Report,[2] 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[3]
    • COM(2007)18: Proposal for a Directive amending Fuel Quality Directive 98/70/EC[4] (also called Directive relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels ), as amended by Directive 2003/17/EC:[5] fuel suppliers should reduce the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from transport fuels from 2011 onward, by 1% year.

Results[edit]

A 2007 progress report found that biofuel only held a 1% share, not reaching the target of 2% or the combined goals of the member nations, which was 1.4%.[6] The 2010 target was officially replaced when the Directive 2003/30/EC was repealed by Directive 2009/28/EC which contained a target of 10% by 2020.[7]

Petroleum industry accused of undermining[edit]

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.[8] The report specifically cited that it is viable for these companies to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 10.5% to a maximum of 15.5% through the reduction of gas flaring and venting as well as energy efficiency and refinery improvements.[9] On the issue of the financial constraints, the report cited the $125 billion record profit that oil companies collectively announced in 2007. "Despite their sky-high profits oil companies are not willing to bear the costs of reducing emissions. It seems that since these investments are not profitable, companies will not make them unless they are forced by a regulatory body," the report said.

Criticism[edit]

On 14 January 2008 the EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas announced the EU is rethinking its biofuel program due to environmental and social concerns[10] 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.[11] This position echoes the stance of many non-governmental organisations and environmentalists.[12]

One of the EU responses involved the introduction of the sustainability criteria in the biofuel program. This include key provisions that address the issue of rainforest destruction and unsustainable land conversion. These mandate that biofuels and bioliquid:

  • cannot be produced in areas of high biodiversity;
  • cannot be produced in untouched forests, protected areas and highly biodiverse savannahs (grasslands); and
  • cannot be sourced from areas with high carbon stocks, including wetlands and continuous forests.[13]

The European Parliament has also approved a more lenient policy revising its target for 2015. Although the 10% objective for 2020 was retained, the directive set an interim target of 5% for 2015.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "on alternative fuels for road transportation and on a set of measures to promote the use of biofuels" (PDF). November 2001. EU Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 March 2007. Retrieved 1 March 2007. 
  3. ^ 37420 51..51 Archived 7 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Microsoft Word – fuelqualityIAlong.doc Archived 28 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2003:076:0010:0019:EN:PDF
  6. ^ http://www.ebb-eu.org/legis/biofuels%20progress%20report%20100107%20provisional%20version.pdf
  7. ^ http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1405390611862&uri=CELEX:02009L0028-20130701
  8. ^ FoE Europe – Press Release
  9. ^ "Oil companies attacked for resisting climate targets". euractiv.com. 30 April 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2018. 
  10. ^ EU rethinks biofuels guidelines By Roger Harrabin bbc.co.uk Monday, 14 January 2008 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7186380.stm
  11. ^ "Are Biofuels Sustainable" (PDF). January 2008. House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  12. ^ EU renewables policy: doubts and flaws http://www.tni.org/detail_page.phtml?act_id=17839
  13. ^ Johnson, Francis; Pacini, Henrique; Smeets, Edward (2013). Transformations in EU biofuels markets under the Renewable Energy Directive and the implications for land use, trade and forests. Bogor Barat: CIFOR. p. 15. ISBN 9786028693813. 
  14. ^ Khanna, Madhu; Scheffran, Jurgen; Zilberman, David (2009). Handbook of Bioenergy Economics and Policy. Berlin: Springer Science & Business Media. p. 405. ISBN 9781441903686. 

External links[edit]