It has produced four short videos, gathered on biofuelsreform.org, that query whether biofuels are truly the fuels of the future: Why is it a problem to use palm oil in biodiesel? Why is it essential to take the indirect land-use change (ILUC) impacts into consideration? How can sustainable advanced biofuels and electricity help us clean up our cars and trucks?
On average, biodiesel from virgin vegetable oil leads to around 80% higher emissions than the fossil diesel it replaces. This is based on biodiesel’s lifecycle emissions, which include ILUC emissions. In 2015, biodiesel was the most popular biofuel in Europe with a market share of 80%, mainly made from palm oil, rapeseed and soy. Of all the sources of biofuel for transport, palm oil has the highest GHG emissions – 303% of the emissions of fossil diesel.
The EU is currently reforming its biofuels policy as part of a new Renewable Energy Directive, which the European Commission proposed in late 2016. Last month Norway, which is not an EU member but part of the single market, became the world’s first country to ban its government purchasing of palm oil biofuel. Its parliament prohibited the use of palm oil or its by-products in public procurement, which is a procedure by which governments purchase goods or services from companies.