The Ukraine crisis shows us once again to what extent the EU relies on energy imports at a daily basis: Today, the EU imports 53% of the energy it consumes. Approximately 90% of our crude oil and nearly 66% of our natural gas comes from 3rd countries. The transport sector is no exception and 95% of the EU fuel consumption is still based on fossil fuels. The EU spends more than 1 billion € per day to pay its external energy bill.
The European Commission must not close its eyes on this reality: We understand that in its up-coming communication on Energy Security the Commission completely neglects the contribution domestically produced advanced biofuels can make to curb Europe’s dependence on rapidly depleting and polluting fossil fuels. Produced from European-grown raw materials advanced biofuels achieve a GHG saving of up to 95% compared to fossil fuel, making them even more climate friendly than the much touted electric cars.
The Communication on Energy Security comes at a time when the future of European energy and climate policy as well as the biofuels policy in particular are at stake. If EU leaders do not recognize the potential of advanced biofuels and adequately promote their deployment, investments will move to other regions in the world where the framework conditions are more favourable. EU Member States will lose precious opportunities for creating new jobs and generating added value especially in rural areas and agriculture through the promotion of EU-based industrial development and innovation.
It is time for the EU to put its cards on the table: Do we want to stay dependent on polluting fossil fuels or do we want to harvest the potential of innovative biofuels technologies? The choice seems obvious and this is why we urge the EU to set a binding, ambitious and realistic target for advanced biofuels in 2020 and up to 2030 with a clear trajectory.
Please, read further the letter of the Leaders of Sustainable Biofuels below.