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EU Biofuels Chain: Statement on upcoming revision of EU CO2 Standards for Cars & Vans


29 Jun 2021



Emissions reduction: the fuel is more important than the engine.

EU climate policy works best when it avoids predicting winners and losers and sticks to the principle of technology neutrality – fostering the cheapest, most efficient and effective decarbonisation solutions. For road transport this means sustainable biofuels, today’s main tool for reducing emissions and displacing fossil fuel.

In addition to their proven emissions-reduction benefits, biofuels strengthen the independence and revenue of European farmers, support a thriving circular bioeconomy, help ensure a secure supply of sustainable food, feed, and non-food products, and reduce Europe’s dependence on imports of protein feed and fuel.

To allow sustainable biofuels to fully contribute to the European Green Deal’s long-term vision of carbon-neutrality, the upcoming revision of the EU CO2 reduction targets for cars & vans cannot continue ignoring the emissions savings delivered by sustainable biofuels every day.

This restrictive “Tank-to-Wheel”, or tailpipe approach, so far adopted by the European Commission, distorts competition among powertrain technologies and misleadingly labels electromobility as emissions-free. It also fails to incentivise biofuels and biogas with a lower GHG footprint and renewable content by not recognising their biogenic energy content. This can be corrected by moving to a “Well-to-Wheel” methodology that considers the nature of the energy powering vehicles, distinguishes between fossil and biogenic CO2, and accounts for the production and end-of-life emissions of the vehicles.

Today’s internal combustion engine and hybrid cars will remain on the road for a long time and, while electric vehicles have an important role to play in saving emissions, they will not be a solution fit for all European consumers. Automotive manufacturers should be allowed to continue improving the efficiency of internal combustion engines, namely by developing engines capable to run on higher biofuel blends to further reduce CO2 emissions. Only by using all the available technologies the EU will be able to deliver on its European Green Deal ambitions and lead the world in the fight against climate change.