By Isabella Kaminski
The schemes certify that biofuels produced in the EU or imported into the EU are sustainable. This means that no forest has been chopped down and no wetlands have been dried to produce the biofuel.
According to Guenther Oettinger, the European Energy Commissioner, biofuels can represent an environmentally-friendly replacement of fossil fuels but Europe needs to ensure that tropical forests and carbon rich peatlands are not turned into oil palm or sugarcane plantations.
An official statement by the European Commission says: “We also have to guarantee that compared to fossil fuels biofuels used in the EU deliver tangible greenhouse gas savings. To this end, the sustainability of biofuels needs to be checked by Member States or through voluntary schemes which have been approved by the European Commission.”
The EC has endorsed 7 certification schemes including those developed by the Round Table on Responsible Soy Association, Bonsucro and Greenenergy. Biofuel companies will be able to use these schemes or national sustainability certification.
Bonsucro’s certification scheme is used to certify the sustainable production of sugarcane.
Kevin Ogorzalek, Chair of Bonsucro, says: “The standard is the conclusion of more than five years of collaboration between the world's biggest sugarcane producers, corporations and influential NGOs.”