BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — The European Renewable Ethanol Association (ePURE) said its wants the European Commission to propose new binding targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions and renewable energy use in transport by 2030, when it presents its new energy and climate policy on Jan. 22

The E.U. transport sector is highly dependent on imported fossil fuels and accounts for a significant share of both E.U. energy consumption and GHG emissions. Since 1990 E.U. transport emissions have increased by 36% and are now responsible for 25% of total E.U. GHG emissions. 

In 2009, the E.U. acknowledged the urgent need to decarbonize E.U. transport by mandating a sectoral target of 10% renewable energy in transport (RED) and a target of 6% GHG emission reductions of transport fuels (FQD). The E.U. must pursue both these options in any 2030 framework. 

"We call upon the European Commission to build on the successes of the current 2020 package by including ambitious, binding targets for renewable energy in transport and the decarbonisation of transport fuels. The need to decarbonise E.U. transport is important now more than ever. Binding targets for E.U. transport sector will not only ensure Europe's is at the forefront in the fight against climate change but it will also promote regulatory stability and encourage long term investments,”said Rob Vierhout, secretary general of ePURE. 

Additionally, any future framework must set a dedicated sub-target for advanced biofuels. European companies are world leaders in advanced biofuels but investments in commercial scale production are happening elsewhere in the world, in countries where more targeted policy support is given. To avoid this innovation leakage, the E.U. must make the move towards commercial deployment of advanced biofuels by setting a separate binding target for their use. 

"After the uncertainties derived from the ILUC debate, the European Commission has an opportunity to restore investor confidence in the sector by signalling support for the most sustainable biofuels. Failure to do so risks to undermine all the work that has been done by the EU industry, farmers, governments and local communities up to now to ensure that Europe is a leader in producing sustainable biofuels,” said Vierhout. 

Since the introduction of the RED and FQD targets, the use of biofuels in Europe has grown to 4.8% of total transport energy. These binding targets have ensured the necessary guidance and predictability to support investment and allow renewable energy in transport to grow successfully.