Sustainability Standards for Biofuels
In April 2007 the European Commission (DG Transport and Energy) launched a public consultation on “Biofuel issues in the new legislation on the promotion of renewable energy”. Within this project, the European Environment Agency contracted Ecologic and Alterra to respond to the Commission’s public consultation with regard to how a biofuel sustainability system should be designed to avoid major biodiversity loss from land use change.
In particular, Ecologic responded to the Commission’s public consultation with regard to sustainability criterion 3. This criterion foresees that biofuels used to fulfill the requirements of the directive should not use raw material from land associated with exceptional biodiversity before a certain date.
The report [pdf, 250 kb, english] is structured in four chapters: First, it analyses land use requirements for bioenergy feedstocks in Europe. The second chapter compiles information about impacts on farmland biodiversity induced by an increased demand for biofuels. It then prioritises different land use changes that are most vulnerable to biodiversity loss and formulates requirements for effective land use planning. The forth chapter draws conclusions regarding the approach as suggested by DG TREN.
The report was prepared in cooperation with Alterra under the lead of Ecologic. The project is part of the framework contract Agri-environmental analysis.