Copa-Cogeca participated today in the 19th edition of the ‘Fuels of the Future’ conference on the issue of the ‘Fit for 55’ package and alternative fuels. This was an opportunity to recall the importance of the agricultural sector in the production of alternative fuels but also highlight the need for the ‘Fit for 55’s package to consider the specific needs of agricultural transport and more broadly mobility in rural areas.
Currently, electrical energy only covers approximately 22% of the final EU-27 energy demand; the generation of electrical energy in the EU is only done with approximately 35% of renewable energy sources; and 65% of the electrical energy in the EU-27 comes from fossil fuels and nuclear energy. In its Fit for 55 package, released last July, the Commission proposed an approach focused primarily on increasing the electrical energy generated from photovoltaic and wind power plants to reach the ambitious energy and climate goals. This creates a clear gap between unattainable visionary goals and the hard energy system facts.
Representing Copa and Cogeca at this event, Secretary General Pekka Pesonen said, “While electric vehicles have an important role to play in saving emissions, they will not be a solution fit for all European consumers, notably to those in rural areas and to heavy goods vehicles. Only by using all the available technologies will the EU be able to deliver on its European Green Deal ambitions and lead the world in the fight against climate change. Certified sustainable crop-based biofuels must not be excluded from the toolbox to decarbonize the transport sector.”
Certified sustainable crop-based biofuels constitute the most consumed renewable fuels in the EU. Transport emission savings observed in recent years result largely from their use. At the same time crop-based biofuels generate protein-rich by-products, an important source of protein for feedingstuff, which substitutes soybean imports - these feeds being ‘deforestationfree’.
Pekka Pesonen made it clear, “Copa and Cogeca call for technology neutral EU policies that could enable all sustainable energy sources to make their contribution in moving away from fossil-fuel based economy. All investments need predictable economic environment. The current unfair capping of certified crop-based biofuels does not help these investments to materialise!”
Copa and Cogeca highlight that the EU farming organisations have also constantly called for an incorporation obligation that is applicable to fuel suppliers as this approach allows for the contribution of all bioenergies to decarbonising transport to be encompassed. The suggested obligation for suppliers to reduce the carbon intensity of fuels by at least 13% by 2030 is largely insufficient given that the transport sector is not reducing emissions which must then be compensated by other sectors covered by the Effort Sharing Regulation reducing emissions if the Member States do not set specific sectorial targets. It is not up to agriculture to pay for transport. In fact, it should be the other way around.
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