EU Agree on climate change mitigation program
18 June 2018 | Mitigation
European Union (EU) countries have finally agreed the program to gradually reduce the number of components on biofuel. The program is regulated in the EU Renewable Energy Directive II (RED II).
The agreement was reached following a dialog between the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Union Council on June 14, 2018. "Political agreement has been reached to increase the use of renewable energy in Europe," said EU Ambassador to Indonesia Vincent Guerend in his statement on Saturday, June 16, 2018.
The EU has decided to increase its target to utilize renewable energy at least 32 percent by 2030 from the initial 27 percent. According to Vincent, the target might be increased after a review on 2030. The agreement in the RED II, Guerend said, will maintain Europe’s role in fighting global climate change.
Previously, the plan to implement the RED II had sparked polemic in a number of countries. Countries exporting biofuel materials to Europe were concerned that if the regulation will shut down their export channel. Indonesia was one of the countries affected by the regulation because if its leading export commodity, palm oil, is one of the main materials for biofuel.
In details, RED II encouraged EU countries to verify their sources of biofuel materials. Biofuel, according to the RED II, must not be produced from raw materials from the ground with rich biodiversities, such as prime forests and tree fields, conservation area, or grassland with rich biodiversity.
Vincent highlighted that the RED II does not contradict any World Trade Organization (WTO) regulations. According to WTO, countries are not allowed to remove or limit biofuel from certain types of materials. However, Vincent said that RED II was not intended for a certain material.
"European countries are still free to import," Guerend stated.
The RED II still needs to be officially approved by the EU Parliament and the UE Council within the next few months. Only after that, the regulation can apply within 20 days following the approval. EU countries will have to integrate the agreement into their own laws within 18 months following its enactment, at the latest.