Political agreement on ILUC Directive was not reached at today’s Energy Council

12 December 2013, Last updated at, 12:21 EEST
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author: AFP/Scanpix

Today the TTE (Energy) Council did not reach political agreement on the ILUC Directive. The intensive work done by the Irish and Lithuanian Presidencies was appreciated.

The European Commission tabled the Directive amending the Directives on Quality of Petrol and Diesel Fuels and on the Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Sources, to address indirect land use change ("ILUC") in autumn 2012. It aims at decreasing the greenhouse gas emissions from indirect land use change when growing the first generation biofuels, as well as limiting the use of food and feed sources for biofuels production, while existing investments should be protected.

Following intensive discussions in the Council, under the Lithuanian Presidency some substantial adjustments to the text were suggested. In order to reach a compromise among Member States, a 7% threshold for conventional biofuels was proposed. To encourage the transition to advanced biofuels, the possibility for Member States to set up a national sub-target within the 10 % transport target for renewables was introduced.

This compromise text maintained the Commission initiative to strengthen reporting obligations of fuel suppliers. The ILUC reporting on greenhouse gas emission savings from the use of biofuels would be carried out by the Commission on the basis of data reported by Member States.

Electricity produced from renewable sources was considered as another approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in transport, and therefore a multiplication factor of 2.5 for the counting of renewable electricity in electrified rail transport, and of a factor of 5 for electricity from renewable sources in electric road vehicles were included.

Noting all the differences of views between the Member States, a threshold of 7% seemed to many Member States and the Presidency to be a balanced solution, but some Member States were not in a position to support the text, e.g. because in their view the current text did not provide sufficient incentives to supporting advanced biofuels and was too generous towards the threshold for conventional biofuels, while some other countries could not approve the threshold on conventional biofuels as being too low.

The incoming Greek Presidency will consider how to proceed further with the ILUC Directive.

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