CAN BIOFUELS DRIVE OUR FUTURE?
In March 2020, the European Commission committed to enshrining the 2050 climate-neutrality objective—set out in the European Green Deal—into EU law. At the same time, the covid-19 pandemic tipped the European Union into a volatile new phase, with a looming world-wide economic recession stirring geopolitical tensions. A critical appraisal of our dependence on imported fossil fuels is, therefore, timelier than ever. In this webinar, we take a critical look at the potential of biofuels to contribute to achieving climate neutrality through the substitution of fossil fuels in the transport sector.
Since the implementation of the first regulatory framework (RED-I) in 2003, attempts to enforce a minimum supply of biofuels to replace fossil fuels in the transport sector have revealed environmental and social uncertainties about the plausibility of the biofuel solution. Some of the unintended negative impacts of the EU biofuels policy are:
- A shift from dependence on imported fossil fuels to dependence on imported biomass associated with deforestation of tropical forests and loss of biodiversity;
- Higher than expected greenhouse gas emissions resulting from indirect land-use changes;
- A significant dependence on fossil energy for the production and transportation of feed-stocks;
- A significant requirement of land and water for biofuel production competing with food production.
In spite of this growing uncomfortable knowledge, the RED-2 proposes even more ambitious short-medium terms targets for biofuels, while shifting the focus from agro-biofuels to advanced biofuels with low level of technological readiness.
The purpose of this webinar is to discuss the expectations about the role that biofuels can play in a radical decarbonization of the EU economy, with a focus on the (in)compatibility between what is desirable and what is possible (viability and feasibility). Three presentations (primers) of 10 min each will be followed by a moderated expert panel debate with public interaction.