Globiom: the basis for biofuel policy post-2020

Europe is starting to consider what its energy policy for transport should be for the 2020-2030 period and especially what it should do with biofuels as part of that. Following its reform of EU biofuel policy to take account of ILUC, the European Commission decided more research on land-use change emissions was needed. The result is the so-called Globiom report, which calculates land-use change (LUC) emissions resulting from additional demand for biofuels in Europe. 

The study does not assess what the overall impact of biofuels is compared with fossil fuels. This paper adds ‘direct’ emissions (for example, from tractors, fertilisers, etc) and subtracts emissions from fossil petrol and diesel equivalents, putting the Globiom numbers in a wider context so that policy conclusions can be drawn.

The key conclusions are:

1. EU biofuel policy before ILUC reform would have increased, not decreased, emissions in 2020 by 3.7%;

2. After ILUC reform – the 7% cap – EU biofuel policy will still likely increase emissions by 1.4%;

3. First-generation biofuels increase EU28 transport GHG emissions by 4.7% and 3.5% before and after the cap respectively.

In order to give better biofuels a chance:

1. The 7% cap should fall to zero after 2020;

2. Zero-counting towards GHG emissions should be ended for biofuels above the cap (just like they cannot be counted towards renewable energy objectives);

3. And the ban on state aid after 2020 should be maintained and enforced.

Below you can download T&E’s full analysis and presentation.