After a long process since the adoption of the Renewable Energy Directive, the European Commission has now made clear that biofuels produced or imported to the EU cannot be produced at the cost of wetlands, peatlands or forests.
Areas that were in 2008 still forests or wetlands cannot be used for the production of biofuels. Any fuels from these areas will not count for the EU biofuel target and will not get any subsidies or other support. Peatlands (wetland areas with water logged, carbon rich organic soils) can only be used to produce biofuels if there is no drainage needed. Palm oil plantations will not be seen as forests.
These are major elements of the Communication of the European Commission, a document explaining how the often unclear Renewable Energy Directive needs to be implemented. Although there are still some environmental issues to improve, the EU communication regarding biofuels is a great step for preventing wetland loss.
Marcel Silvius, Wetlands International: "Finally, the European Commission gives clarity on something we all know; planting biofuels at the cost of wetlands is causing biodiversity loss and huge greenhouse gas emissions and should never be supported by any policy".
See the press releases of the European Commission on this.
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