Press Release

Anti-dumping duties for biodiesel should be based on sustainability, says NGO after Argentina decision

September 7, 2017

The EU should have sustainability criteria when considering anti-dumping duties for imports of biodiesel, such as those from Argentina, so that biofuels that emit more carbon than fossil fuels are kept out, sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. Today European governments decided to significantly lower the duties (to between 4.5 and 8.1%) on Argentine biodiesel following a ruling by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) striking them down. T&E said the EU must show coherence in its trade and climate policies.

Currently there are significant anti-dumping duties (between 22% and 25.7%) on Argentina’s cheap biodiesel, which is produced from soybeans and is twice as bad for the climate as regular diesel [1]. T&E called on the EU to further sustainable development and its own climate goals by incorporating environmental criteria such as greenhouse gas emissions during its investigations for the imposition of anti-dumping duties.

Kristina Wittkopp, better trade and regulation legal analyst at T&E, said: “It makes no sense for the Commission to propose stronger environmental and climate policies at home, and then turn a blind eye to them once it’s discussing trade. Environmental criteria such as greenhouse gas emissions, land use, air and water quality should be taken into account when imposing anti-dumping duties.”

The European Commission has proposed a partial phase out of food-based biofuels that can be used by member states to meet their renewable energy targets for 2030.

Kristina Wittkopp concluded: “Instead of phasing out biodiesel, we risk opening the floodgates for the worst types of biodiesel such as soy and palm oil. Trade policy cannot be conducted in isolation and must be coherent with the overarching goals of the EU.”

Note to editor:

[1] This is due to indirect land-use change emissions (ILUC). Based on estimates from the Globiom study, T&E’s analysis shows soy biodiesel to be, on average, twice as bad for the climate as fossil diesel. Available at…

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