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Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Commission sets rules for green biofuel label

To ensure that biofuels contributing to the EU's 20% renewable target are produced in a sustainable manner, the European Commission called for industry and governments to set up certification schemes. The Commission  adopted a package on the sustainability criteria of biofuels.  The package, which includes two communications and one decision, aims to ensure that biofuels produced and imported into the EU are produced without damaging the environment. Only biofuels that meet the conditions set out in the package will count towards the targets that each of the EU's 27 member states has to reach by 2020. Under the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive, companies are eligible for national support such as tax relief.No sanctions or bans on the use of biofuels that do not carry a sustainable label are foreseen. The Commission paper explains what industry, governments or NGOs need to do to get a sustainable label for their biofuel use. Issues addressed include standards to be met both in the EU and third countries, as well as independent auditing of the whole of the scheme's production chain. A Brazilian sugarcane farmer, for example, must prove that his land was not converted from tropical forest to farmland since January 2008, and producers, traders and importers also need to prove a number of criteria related to farming, production, transport and distribution.

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