The revised renewable energy directive, adopted in December 2018 by the European Parliament and by the Council of Ministers of the European Union, establishes an overall policy for the promotion and use of energy from renewable sources in the European Union. The new directive reinforces the sustainability criteria of bioenergy through different provisions, including the negative direct impact that the production of biofuels may have due to indirect land use change (ILUC).
In 2015 new rules came into force to reduce the risk of indirect land use change – in both the renewable energy directive and the fuel quality directive - and to prepare the transition towards advanced biofuels.
For the implementation of this approach, as required by the directive, the Commission has published a delegated act and its annex . This was adopted by the Commission on 13 March 2019 – and is subject to the standard EU comitology procedure which provides a two-month period of scrutiny for the European Parliament and the Council (with a possible two-month extension). [NB Other language versions of this text are available, by i) changing to your required language (top right corner), and ii) going to the equivalent of “Access the latest version of the delegated act text” towards the bottom of the page.]
This delegated act sets out specific criteria both for:
- determining the high ILUC-risk feedstock for which a significant expansion of the production area into land with high carbon stock is observed; and
- certifying low ILUC-risk biofuels, bioliquids and biomass fuels.
The Commission has also adopted an accompanying report on the status of production expansion of relevant food and feed crops worldwide, based on the best available scientific data (REPORT and ANNEX ). This report provides information that member states can use in conjunction with the criteria set out in the delegated act in order to identify high ILUC-risk fuels and certify low ILUC-risk fuels.