News & events

  • Home
  • News & events
2016 October 20

WBA Press release: Response to EU biofuels policy

October 20, 2016

EU should base its biofuels policy on facts rather than emotions

WBA responds to EU proposal to phase out conventional biofuels support post 2020

The World Bioenergy Association (WBA) opposes the European Union (EU) proposal to phase out support for conventional biofuels post 2020i. The recent European Commission proposals against conventional biofuels are impacting the local farmers, businesses and companies in the biofuels sector. These policy decisions based on emotions and myths are dangerous and will significantly impact the EU plans for being the leader in the climate change arena. Biofuels improve food security, mitigate climate change and support local economic development. 

WBA proposes a more holistic approach to conventional biofuels. In 2015, conventional biofuels production increased to 98.3 billion litresii. EU produced 11.5 billion litres which had a significant impact in decarbonizing the transport sector and for countries like Sweden to achieve their 2020 renewable energy targets well in advance. At the same time, production of conventional biofuels also produces protein – a major feedstock for food and feed. In 2013, 71 million tonnes of protein were produced globally in the form of DDGS (Distiller’s Dried Grains with Soluble) and oil cake. Restricting biofuels production will increase EU dependency on imports. Also, the biofuels sector in Europe generated an estimated 105 000 jobs in 2015 and more than a million jobs worldwideiii

It is unfortunate that EU is so biased against conventional biofuels. Decarbonizing the transport sector is a huge challenge and sustainable biofuels (including conventional and advanced biofuels) should be encouraged. The policy should be based on emission reduction, economics and efficiency of the process rather than emotions” – says Remigijus Lapinskas, President, WBA.

The age old debate of food vs. fuel has continued irrespective of the fact that research clearly shows that successful synergies can be achieved between bioenergy and food securityiv. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) insists that we need to move from food vs. fuel debate to a food and fuel debatev. There are various ways in promoting both food and fuel production. More unutilized land can be used for crop production. Increasing yields and productivity would mean more food and fuel from the same existing cropland. Reducing food wastage in the consumption side would mean more availability of resources. 

The WBA supports Copa and Cogecavi and ePurevii in their opinions against the current EU proposal. WBA has presented various fact based material on the biofuels issues which can be accessed on our website: 
  • WBA Factsheet: Advanced Biofuels (Link)
  • WBA Factsheet: Biofuels for transport (Link)
Download the press release here (DocPdf)

For more information, please contact: 

Remigijus Lapinskas, President WBA, +37069822906, 
Karin Haara, Executive Director WBA, +46705432641,
Bharadwaj V Kummamuru, Project Officer WBA, +46767159785
Viktorija Kazlauskaite, Project Assistant, WBA +37067790573 


iEuropean Commission, Working Document – A European Strategy for Low Emission Mobility (Link
iiWBA, WBA Global Bioenergy Statistics 2016 report (Link)
iiiIRENA, Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual review 2016 (Link)
ivKline et. al (2016), Reconciling food security and bioenergy: priorities for action (Link)
vFAO, The food systems of the future need to be smarter, more efficient (Link
viCopa – Cogeca, Press release: Copa & Cogeca warn against EU commission plans to phase out conventional biofuels post-2020: vital for feed supplies & decarbonizing transport sector (Link)
viiePure, EU commission is ignoring its own science in bid to kill biofuels (Link)