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Parliamentary questions
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14 May 2019
Answer given by Mr Arias Cañete on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-001130/2019

The revised Renewable Energy Directive (Directive (EU) 2018/2001), adopted by the European Parliament and Council, requires the Commission to set out criteria for the determination of high indirect land use change (ILUC)-risk feedstock and for the certification of low ILUC-risk fuels in a delegated act and to report on the global expansion of relevant biofuel feedstock. Both the delegated act and the report were adopted on 13 March 2019 and transmitted to the European Parliament and the Council for scrutiny.

According to the criteria enshrined in Directive (EU) 2018/2001 and supported by latest scientific evidence, currently only palm oil qualifies as a high ILUC-risk feedstock as the share of expansion into carbon rich areas observed for oil palm is much higher than for any other feedstock. Further, the delegated act sets strict criteria for the certification of low ILUC-risk fuels. Such criteria have been further strengthened taking into account the feedback received from stakeholders and citizens on the draft delegated act published on 8 February 2019.

Fuels are considered as low ILUC-risk only if produced from additional feedstock produced on a delineated area that is the direct result of applying an additionality measure. Only measures that are financially attractive because they allow to reap the financial premium arising from such certification are eligible and eligibility of measures is limited to a period of 10 years(1). These strict requirements, independently of the feedstock(2), are sufficient to mitigate ILUC risks. Further, details regarding the certification of low ILUC-risk biofuels will be set out in an implementing act.

A review of the underlying scientific evidence, in particular on the feedstock expansion, as well on the factors justifying the small holders provision will be conducted by 30 June 2021. A further review of the criteria set out in the delegated act is foreseen by the directive for 1 September 2023.

(1)Financial additionality is assumed if such measures are taken on abandoned or severely degraded land or by independent small farm holders.
(2)including palm oil.

Last updated: 16 May 2019Legal notice