EU biodiesel market briefing

This briefing details the feedstock used in biodiesel in Europe between 2010 and 2014. It is based on official industry data from Fediol obtained by T&E. The analysis shows that all of the 34% growth in EU biodiesel since 2010 comes from imported palm oil. The expansion of these plantations into natural rainforest is both having a devastating impact on biodiversity and causing net greenhouse gas emissions, to the effect that palm oil biodiesel is three times worse for the climate than fossil diesel.

In 2010, just 8% of palm oil used in Europe was for biodiesel, a share which grew to 45% in 2014. A further 15% of palm oil was burned for heat and power. Other uses of palm oil, such as for food and cosmetics, have actually declined by one-third in these four years. On average biodiesel is now 80% worse for the climate than fossil diesel, up from 40% in 2010. All forms of support for first-generation biofuels needs to end in 2020.