BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — The European Renewable Ethanol Association (ePURE) on March 12 presented its position on the European Commission’s proposal for a directive amending the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) and the directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (RED).

ePURE believes that European policy-makers have an opportunity to pursue a positive agenda for growth and jobs in Europe’s low carbon bio-economy. To build and maintain investor confidence, the E.U. should set GHG emissions reduction targets beyond 2020 (at least until 2030) and clearly indicate that future growth in the biofuels market should come from the best performing biofuels in terms of GHG performance. Conventional and advanced renewable ethanol will play a crucial role in achieving real GHG emissions reductions in the transport sector in the E.U.

“We support the E.U.’s ambition for the use of biofuels in transport and call for a target of 8% conventional renewable ethanol in petrol, which would ensure diversity of supply of renewable transport fuels the E.U. needs," said Rob Vierhout, secretary general of ePURE.

Vierhout said ePURE is asking for a target of at least 2% for advanced biofuels. Such a target combined with a longer-term perspective of the E.U.’s climate policy will provide investors and innovators with clarity and a guaranteed market, which is necessary given the high level of investment needed.

Homegrown European ethanol made from cereals and sugar adds approximately as much food into the food chain as it withdraws. Moreover, it has been scientifically demonstrated that E.U.-produced ethanol does not reduce the global land area available for food production. For all these reasons, any cap on E.U.-produced conventional renewable ethanol cannot be justified by food versus fuel arguments.