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Biodiesel Europe

EU biofuels policy promises environmental damage, study says

The European Commission’s proposals to shrink consumption of first generation biofuels will perversely damage the environment by hiking imports of soybeans, according to a new German industry-commissioned study released Tuesday.

Germany consumed around 3.2mn t of rapeseed in 2015 to produce 1.3mn t of biodiesel, according to the study by professors at the University of Hohenheim. The biofuel output produced an additional 1.9mn t of protein-rich animal feed. With Germany already importing around 40% of its protein feed requirements, waste-heavy EU draft plans for emissions reduction in road transport fuels would increase shipments of soybeans.

“The result would be the expansion of soya farming… in environmentally sensitive areas in South America,” the study says.

An additional fallout from planned EU policy shifts will be the increase consumption of fossil fuels to offset lost volumes of biofuel, the study says.

“Europe-wide introduction of a binding greenhouse gas reduction obligation would lead to biofuels saving even more GHGs than today. The more harmonisation that takes place, the less inefficiencies there are because of fractured trade flows of biofuels and their feedstocks,” says study author Dr Jurgen Zeddies.

MS – 10/01/2017

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