19 Sep, 2023

ALDE Party stakeholders discuss biofuels’ climate impact

On 19 September, ALDE Party hosted the next event of its Stakeholder Series entitled “Decarbonisation of heavy-duty fuels and the role of biodiesel”. 

During the event, moderated by Jan-Christoph Oetjen MEP from ALDE Party member FDP in Germany and Vice-Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Transport (TRAN), participants exchanged views on the current revisions of heavy-duty vehicles (HDV) CO2 emission standards, and how they can contribute to European energy security. 

More than 60 guests joined the discussion centred around the potential role of biofuels, particularly biodiesel, for HDVs such as haulage trucks, ships and airplanes ahead of a vote in the TRAN Committee on a potential new EU Regulation on the issue. 

Guests asked how policymakers could manage to implement technologically-neutral and open legislation moving away from fossil fuels, how to agree on a common definition for biofuels, how to ensure an industrial perspective in any upcoming legislation and how to cater to diverse needs in a fragmented European market. 

“Electric vehicles (EVs) will be the future of a lot of transport modes, but we don’t have the infrastructure yet and we don’t know how it will evolve. There are other ways of decarbonising transport, especially for aviation and shipping, but also for heavy-duty vehicles EVs cannot be the only solution that should be used to have the right answer for every option that people need on the ground,” said Oetjen. 

“We should take into account the diversity of options and requirements that are set. It would be unfortunate, unreasonable and not in line with technological possibilities if as legislators we only propose a single solution to this. We should push for a liberal stance in this regard, and one of the liberal principles that we always follow is to give options to stakeholders and let the market decide which option is the most suitable for the exact urgency,” said Ondřej Kovařík MEP. 

“We accept that there will be a wide spectrum of solutions, but biodiesel is waiting in the wings to be used and sometimes forgotten by the policy makers. It’s a natural inclination to be thinking about electrification, hydrogen, fuelling infrastructure, but we can easily forget what is already in front of us. This need is going to be around for ten or 20 years, we want to displace as much fossil fuel with biofuel in the meantime,” said Dickon Posnett, President of the European Biodiesel Board. 

You can watch the event in full below on YouTube.

The event speakers included:  

  • Jan-Christoph Oetjen MEP, Vice Chair of the TRAN committee, European Parliament 
  • Ondřej Kovařík MEP, European Parliament 
  • Raluca Marian, Director EU Advocacy, International Road Transport Union 
  • Dickon Posnett, President, European Biodiesel Board 
  • Carlo Hamelinck, Partner, Studio Gear Up 
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