Biofuels: Sustainable production is key

Biofuels: Sustainable production is key

Renewable fuels from crops can be sustainably produced and play a vital role in driving the shift towards sustainable transport. To reduce emissions in the transport sector, Scania believes higher standards and requirements should be set for sustainable production of biofuels, instead of limiting their use.

Urban Wästljung, senior adviser, Scania Public & Sustainability Affairs.

Urban Wästljung, senior adviser, Scania Public & Sustainability Affairs.

In late November, the European Commission’s Revised Renewable Energy Directive, RED2, was presented. In RED2 the Commission wants the transport industry to focus on ‘advanced’ biofuels and phase out ‘conventional’ biofuels produced from crops.

However Scania believes that, under the proposal, the overall contribution to transport decarbonisation is limited.

“In this regard the directive is a disappointment and a step back,” says Urban Wästljung, senior adviser, Scania Public & Sustainability Affairs. “Our view is that crop-based biofuels shouldn’t be excluded as such, as there are many examples of such fuels that are produced in a sustainable way. For example, Swedish ethanol produced from wheat shows a 90 percent reduction of the total carbon footprint compared with fossil diesel fuel.”

Scania will continue to argue for existing biofuels

Scania’s view is that sustainably-produced biofuels from crops play an important role in the mid-term stages of a conversion to fossil-free transport, pending new technology such as biofuels from paper and pulp by-products and different kinds of electrified solutions.

“Instead of ruling out efficient biofuels, it would be better to put higher demands on sustainability and climate efficiency in all biofuels, regardless of the raw material. Our view is that all sustainable fuels which reduce CO2 emissions by more than 70 percent compared to fossil fuels should be considered ‘advanced’,” Wästljung says.

Together with other stakeholders Scania will continue to argue for existing biofuels as being an important contributor in the shift towards sustainable transport, and thus for a change in the Renewable Energy Directive.

“If the directive will be decided in its present state, our view is that it will be difficult for EU and the transport industry to match the UN’s goals for reducing emissions from greenhouse gases,” says Urban Wästljung.