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Biofuels Policy in the European Union

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Jaime AmezagaORCiD, Samantha Boyes, Dr Jennifer Hazelton



The European Union (EU) is the main focus of policy development and coordination at a continental level for its 27 Member States (EU-27). This includes energy, environmental and agricultural policy. Biofuels have been promoted by the EU using various policy mechanisms for over a decade. Fuel insecurity and environmental factors have driven the EU to set mandatory targets which are to be met by 2020. One of the targets specifies that 10% of final energy consumption in the transport sector must be met by renewables by 2020. The 2009 Climate and Energy Package, which mandates the target, replaces and updates much of the previous policies dealing with biofuels. The 10% renewables target for transport is expected to be met predominantly by first generation biofuels and lead to significant increases in biofuel consumption within the EU. This growth in demand is likely to be met by higher volumes of imports as well as increased domestic production. The 10% target has received heightened public attention as concerns were raised about its sustainability. To tackle this issue, mandatory sustainability criteria have been included in the legislation. Serious questions remain, however, about the feasibility of their application and their effectiveness. The issues of indirect land use change and social sustainability have not been entirely dealt with by the Directive, but must be reported on by the Commission and Member States. Further analysis is required to provide sound methods of quantification to allow these issues to be incorporated into policy.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Harrison JA; Amezaga JM; Boyes SL

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 7th International Biofuels Conference

Year of Conference: 2010

Pages: 12

Date deposited: 01/06/2011

Publisher: Winrock International India