The EU biofuel saga has gone on since 2008. Mixing palm oil and soy in our fossil fuels would increase our green fuel practice in EU. When the EU’s green energy law was updated in 2018, the European Parliament quasi-unanimously decided to eliminate palm oil from the EU green energy law.
But the Commission prevented a deal, committing instead to propose, by February 2019, to phase out bad biofuels, i.e. the use of biofuel causing deforestation from the EU green energy law.
Source of contestation as the article below illustrates. Euroshore voices its sensible opinion in this discussion.
"Should Europeans be forced to burn palm and soy in their cars in the name of EU climate policy? This is the simple question the European Commission needs to answer today. If you'd ask ordinary citizens, environmentalists, farmers, business leaders or scientists the answer would invariably be a resounding "of course we shouldn't".
However, it increasingly looks as if the EU executive is about to give the green light for another decade of uncontrolled palm oil burning by Europe’s diesel fleet. Not because it’s good for the climate or because Europeans want it – 70% are against – but because the Commission is afraid about upsetting its trade partners.
The palm oil diesel saga started in 2009 when the EU adopted a green energy law to mandate the use of biofuels. Despite warnings from environmentalists the law did not distinguish between good and bad biofuels, leading to a huge surge in palm oil biodiesel, the cheapest but also the environmentally worst form of biodiesel. The word huge here is not an exaggeration: more than half of all the palm oil imported into Europe is now burned in our cars and trucks.
Getting biofuels from Asia and America just to keep trade partners happy is questionable. Moreover, why should the EU support monocultures of some agriculture products in countries where there are regularly difficulties in food supply for the local population?
The EU policy promotes less dependence of mineral oil, but why then do we need to import wood residues from Canada and USA, while we have locally produced and not used biomaterial readily available?
Euroshore members recycle every year almost 500,000 tons of oily sludge and slops from seagoing vessels, but only a fraction is re-used as a product. Barriers, such as a EU frame for quality standards, hamper the re-use of these fuels. Using them as a ‘biofuel’ if they meet the quality standards would contribute to a real circular economy.