The use of renewable fuels, such as biodiesel, has contributed significantly to carbon emission savings in the transport sector, which accounts for a quarter of total GHG emissions in the EU. In its Renewables Progress Report, published in June 2015, the European Commission underlined that the use of renewable energy in transport led to a reduction of almost 35 million tons of carbon emissions. More precisely, the report recognizes that a majority of these savings were due to the use of biofuels.
Furthermore, the criteria of sustainability set by European legislation guarantees that biofuels currently release 35% less CO2 than fossil fuels, and that in the future, they will comply with even stricter thresholds (50% less than fossil fuels by 2018).
Among biofuels, biodiesel plays the most important part in emissions savings. In fact, the CARB underlined that biodiesel is the most sustainable liquid fuel, reducing carbon emissions on average by 50% to 81%, in comparison with fossil fuels. Biodiesel has a tangible impact on carbon emission savings and should, therefore, be at the forefront of global transport decarbonisation.
The imperatives of the COP21 and the decarbonisation of our economy requires a multilateral effort, in which all technologies have a role to play. In particular, biodiesel will enable significant GHG emissions in sectors where electrification is not a possibility, such as heavy duty, marine transport and aviation, which cumulatively account for more than 45% of the use of biodiesel in Europe.
Furthermore, the first-generation biofuel industry contributes to the innovation effort and invests in the development of advanced biofuels. Halting incentives for 1st generation biofuels only signals to investors that the EU lacks policy coherence and predictability. In particular, the first-generation biodiesel industry also produces advanced biofuels, made from waste and residues (mainly animal fats and used cooking oils), as well as lignocellulose.