Two EU laws, the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) adopted in 2009, promote the use of biofuels in the EU, ostensibly for the purpose of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transport sector.
The RED requires Member States to source 10% of their transport fuels from renewables (mostly biofuels), while the FQD requires fuel suppliers to reduce carbon intensity of fuels sold on the EU market by 6% by 2020.
Despite the initial purpose of reducing GHG emissions, both laws could however lead to higher, rather than lower, greenhouse gas emissions unless the issue of Indirect Land-Use Change (ILUC) is resolved. Moreover, the existing weak sustainability criteria are not stringent enough to secure the overall environmental and social sustainability of biofuels.
This position paper, published jointly with BirdLife Europe and the European Environmental Bureau, offers a number of important improvements to the Commission's October 2012 proposal intended to tackle ILUC.