Reality check - 10 things you didn’t know about EU biofuels policy

The negotiations of the new Renewable Energy Directive for 2020-2030 have re-launched the debate on renewable energy in transport, notably on food-based biofuels. The impacts of the EU biofuels policy on climate and environment are poorly informed and understood. This briefing provides a reality check on 10 things that decision makers and citizens do not know about biofuels:

1.    Four in every five litres of biofuel in the EU is biodiesel
2.    Around half of EU production of crop biodiesel is based on imports of feedstock, not crops grown by EU farmers
3.    A third of EU crop biodiesel is made from palm oil, making drivers the top consumers of palm oil in Europe
4.    EU biodiesel production growth since 2009 has been based on imports and waste oils
5.    Of all EU rapeseed oil, 60% is consumed in the biodiesel sector
6.    Palm biodiesel is three times worse for the climate than fossil diesel
7.    Phasing out palm oil alone is not going to fix the biofuels policy
8.    The co-production of animal feed cannot justify the support for crop biofuels
9.    There is an acute lack of transparency about the biofuels used in the EU with data either unavailable or very hard to access
10.  Most drivers don’t know and are not told they are filling up their car tanks with vegetable oils and other food crops