Guidelines To Implement EU’s Renewable Energy Drive Adopted

Posted on June 10, 2010. Filed under: Forestry/Wetlands |

(Bernama) — The European Commission on Thursday adopted guidelines to implement the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive which forms part of its 2008 climate and energy package.

“The adopted package gives clear guidance to the Malaysian palm oil producers what they need to do to meet the EU’s sustainability criteria for biofuels, including palm-based biodiesel.

“This will help investment decisions and marketing,” said the EU Delegation to Malaysia in a statement Thursday.

It said the Malaysian exports of biodiesel to the EU are still relatively small, but they are likely to grow during this decade as a result of the EU’s renewable energy policy.

The EU climate and energy package of 2008 fixes a legally binding, unilateral target of 20 per cent greenhouse gas emissions reduction below 1990 levels by 2020.

It also requires the EU member states to achieve by 2020 a 20 per cent reduction in energy use below 1990 levels by improving energy efficiency.

The package furthermore obliges EU member states to ensure a 20 per cent share of renewable energy in the total energy consumption by 2020. Within this 20 per cent for renewables, it sets a target of 10 per cent for renewable fuels in the transport sector.

“To reach these targets, biofuels must deliver substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emission and should not come from forests, wetlands, peatlands and nature protected areas,” said the EU Delegation.

It said the guidelines lay down the requirements for certification schemes that want to be recognized by the European Commission, and describe the standards to be met for these schemes to gain EU recognition.

“The guidelines further describe the land-use criteria of the Renewable Energy Directive, explaining which types of land cannot be used to produce biofuels. These are natural forests, protected areas, drained peatlands, wetlands.

“Conversion of a forest to oil palm plantation would fail the sustainability requirements,” it said.

It said the guidelines also describe how to prove that the biofuels used have high greenhouse gas savings.

“Those that do not achieve the threshold of 35 per cent greenhouse gas savings compared to fossil fuels will not qualify for the incentives aimed at stimulating the use of biofuels.

“They can, however, continue to be imported into the EU,” it added.

The EU Delegation said the sustainability criteria do not apply to exports of Malaysian palm oil for consumer products such as food or cosmetics. At present, these represent about 95 per cent of Malaysia’s palm oil exports to EU.

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