Target: European Commission
Goal: Thank the European Commission for limiting reliance on first-generation bio-fuels, which are unsustainable and can cause as much harm as fossil fuels in the long run
Biofuels are a low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal and are far superior for the ease with which they’re used and stored in relation to their high energy density. Of utmost importance is the much lower amount of greenhouses gases that are emitted as a result. However, the use of all biofuels does not automatically equal a safe, green planet. Studies have begun to show that first-generation biofuel production (those that come from sugar, starch, and vegetable oil – thus generating competition with food) adds to greenhouse gas emissions as negatively as other fuels when their production takes place in forests and other non-agricultural lands.
In light of these findings, the European Commission is putting forth amendements to the Renewable Energy and Fuel Quality Directives which will stop biofuels from becoming merely short-term solutions that end up being equally harmful for the environment. Their first amendment’s aim is to increase the efficiency with which biofuel is produced by proposing an increase to 60% for the required minimum greenhouse gas savings in new installations. The second amendment directly encourages the use of second and third-generation biofuels (like straw and waste, thus avoiding demand for production land) by providing incentives for low indirect land use change emissions.
To further this aim, the goal of meeting a 10% renewable energy target which had previously depended on the use of food-based biofuel is being lowered to a 5% limit so that second-generation biofuels can take precedence. Please take the time to thank the European Commission for actively taking into account studies that point out flaws in what has otherwise been considered a simple solution to biofuels and helped begin usher in a sustainable future.
Dear European Commission,
As you know, recent studies have exposed the inherent flaws in relying on first-generation biofuels which directly compete with food production. The displacement of non-agricultural land which many of these productions necessitate are just as much a threat to the welfare of the environment as the fossil fuels they aim to replace.
With the various amendements and incentives you have decided to implement within the Renewable Energy and Fuel Quality Directives, a safer and sustainable future can be achieved. By reducing the renewable energy target by 5% as it relates to first-generation biofuels, you are taking an active stance towards changing our course towards a more practical end goal. Thank you.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Oast House Archive