New certification schemes for biofuels announced

Under the Directive 2009/28/EC of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources the share of renewable energy in transport should be a minimum of 10% in every Member State by 2020. Whether it is electricity or hydrogen from renewable energy sources, or 1st or 2nd generation biofuels, this goal is important to EC in reaching renewable energy and decarbonisation targets.

It is important to make sure that tropical forests and carbon rich peatlands are not turned into oil palm or sugarcane plantations. It must also be guaranteed that biofuels used in the EU deliver tangible greenhouse gas savings (compared to fossil fuels).

The European Commission has approved a voluntary certification scheme for biofuels to ensure that biofuels used in the EU are from sustainable sources.

To this end, the sustainability of biofuels needs to be checked by Member States or through voluntary schemes which have been approved by the European Commission. On 19 July 2011, the Commission has recognised seven voluntary schemes, details of which are available here.