Brussels, 10 June 2010
Commission sets up system for certifying sustainable biofuels
The Commission decided today to encourage industry, governments and NGOs to set up certification schemes for all types of biofuels, including those imported into the EU. It laid down what the schemes must do to be recognised by the Commission. This will help implement the EU's requirements that biofuels must deliver substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and should not come from forests, wetlands and nature protection areas. The rules for certification schemes are part of a set of guidelines explaining how the Renewable Energy Directive, coming into effect in December 2010, should be implemented.
Günther Oettinger, Commissioner responsible for Energy, said: "In the years to come, biofuels are the main alternative to petrol and diesel used in transport, which produces more than 20% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union. We have to ensure that the biofuels used are also sustainable. Our certification scheme is the most stringent in the world and will make sure that our biofuels meet the highest environmental standards. It will have positive effects also on other regions as it covers imported biofuels."
The package adopted today consists of two Communications and a Decision which should help businesses and Member States to implement the Renewable Energy Directive. They focus especially on the sustainability criteria for biofuels and what is to be done in order to control that only sustainable biofuels are used.
The 2009 Renewable Energy Directive sets an overall EU target of 20% renewable energy in total energy consumption by 2020, translated into binding national targets for Member States. Every Member States has to reach individual national targets for the overall share of renewable energy. In addition, in the transport sector, all Member States have to reach the same target of a 10% share of renewable energy.
Renewables include solid biomass, wind, solar energy and hydro power as well as biofuels. Only biofuels that meet the EU's sustainability requirements can count towards the targets in the Directive.
The following three documents:
can be found on the website:
Directive 2009/28 of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources
Individual national targets for renewable energy: Annex I, Directive 2009/28 on renewable sources