Published Monday, 31 January 2011

The Interactions between European Policy Drivers for Increasing the Use of Biofuels in Transport  

Increasing the use of biofuels is likely to be one of the many options that will be taken up in order to reduce transport’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions due to their claimed potential to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of transport fuels. The two principal pieces of European legislation that aim to promote inter alia the use of biofuels are the Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC (RED) and the Fuel Quality Directive 98/70/EC (FQD).

In this paper, Ian Skinner and Bettina Kretschmer explain the complex interaction mechanisms between the two pieces of legislation which exert influence in different ways. For example those GHG savings delivered by sustainable biofuels are counted only towards meeting the FQD target and not the RED transport target. There are implications for the way in which the Member States implement the Directives, as well as for their success in reducing transport’s CO2 emissions, having taken account of indirect land use change.

This is one of a series of papers prepared under the Biomass Futures project.