Wednesday, December 8, 2010

UK to miss crucial EU biofuel deadline


UK to miss crucial EU biofuel deadline

Green group warns failure to adopt Renewable Energy Directive measures before Sunday's cut-off date will render key low-carbon schemes illegal

By Will Nichols

03 Dec 2010

The UK is risking the wrath of the European Commission by failing to introduce biofuel sustainability standards into national law before the Renewable Energy Directive's (RED) mandatory deadline this Sunday.

Under EU law, the Directive must be incorporated into UK legislation by Sunday 5 December, bringing with it a set of targets for members to ensure the bloc produces 20 per cent of overall energy and 10 per cent of its transport energy from renewable sources by 2020. However, RED also demands the adoption of sustainability standards for biofuels that the UK, along with the vast majority of EU member states, have not yet implemented. The standards are meant to ensure feedstocks are not sourced from bio-diverse areas and state that only those biofuels with high greenhouse gas savings will count towards national renewable energy target.

However, critics claim the UK is continuing to subsidise biofuels through the Renewables Obligation (RO) and the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) that under the EU definition could be considered unsustainable.

Friends of the Earth's biofuels campaigner Kenneth Richter said this means that from Sunday, the UK, along with most other EU members bar Germany, will be in breach of European law.

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Biofuels are a wide range of fuels which are in some way derived from biomass.

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