Last Wednesday, France Nature Environnement (FNE) said it was “totally premature” decision in Brussels to validate seven voluntary mechanisms to certify biofuels efficiency, indicating that the problem of indirect changes in land use (ICLU) was not resolved.
The European Directive on Renewable Energy plans to incorporate 10% renewable energy – primarily biofuels – transport by 2020.
To ensure that biofuels provide a real benefit to the environment, sustainability criteria have been established: the savings in greenhouse gas emissions must be at least 35% biofuels and these should not get up on land currently in forest or peat bogs. It is on this basis that the European Commission has just approved certification schemes for biofuels “sustainable” .
But according to FNE, these criteria are silent on a major “indirect change in land use ” (ICLU).Indeed, if biofuels are replacing food crops, there is nothing that they move on land currently in forest, leading to deforestation and CO2 emissions. A study by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), the European biofuels would mobilize the world an area equivalent to twice that of Belgium, at the expense of forests and natural ecosystems, with disastrous consequences for climate change and food security.
The European Commission must decide precisely this July on consideration of the ICLU. “It just changed gear, postponing the decision until September and by another step to encourage biofuels, of which there is no evidence that they are green,” says the association of environmental protection.
“How can certify sustainable biofuels pathways, while the rules are not yet stabilized? Once again, it puts the cart before the horse and it rushes headlong without considering the consequences food, environmental and health impacts of agrofuels, “said Jean-Claude Bévillard, Vice-President of FNE in charge of agricultural issues.