Biofuels set to benefit from Germany's 'climate protection rate'

The ‘climate protection rate’ in Germany is set to rise this year from 3.5 to 4% and biofuels is set to benefit from this, according to Germany’s biofuels trade association Verband der Deutschen Biofuelindustrie (VDB).

According to this rise, oil companies will have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their fuels by 4% from this year, for example, by adding biodiesel or bioethanol.

Biofuels reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 70% compared to fossil fuels, as the competent Federal Institute for Agriculture and Food (BLE) stated in an October report. 

Biodiesel and bioethanol accounted for 5.2% of the German fuel market in 2015.

 “The climate protection rate leads to noticeable greenhouse gas savings in road traffic, the caring child of climate protection,” said Elmar Baumann, managing director of VDB.

However, the full potential for climate protection through biofuels is not exhausted, according to VDB.  In the past, a much higher proportion of biofuels has already been used. This development is particularly drastic in sales of diesel fuel, which in Germany has risen from 32.5 to 36.8 million tonnes in 2015, or 13.2%. At the same time, the share of biodiesel fell by 26.6%, according to the trade body.

“More and more fossil diesel is the reality in Germany. Obviously, the political will of the competent Federal Ministry of the Environment is lacking in climate protection, which is the most important fuel, that is diesel, “said Baumann.

In a statement, the VDB said: “An example of bad regulatory policy is the further legal form of the climate protection rate, which according to a European directive must reach 6% greenhouse gas reduction by the year 2020.”

The biofuels industry has long demanded that the climate protection rate increase by 2020 in small steps. It argues that the affected economy can adapt itself to the development and better assess the market situation and the implementation is achieved reliably. 

Baumann said: “The Federal Ministry of the Environment wants to make a big jump within a year from four to six per cent in 2020, which will foresee distortions in the foreseeable future.

 “The Federal Ministry of the Environment is risking by its inactivity to miss the binding European target of 6 percent greenhouse gas reduction in 2020.”

This story was written by Liz Gyekye, editor of Biofuels International. 

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