We argue in our response that biofuels and any company making them (whether from wastes or non-wastes), should be exempt from these regulations on the basis that they are already covered by a regime that is more effective and wide-ranging than these provisions. This is the approach taken with timber, and the arguments are just as valid for biofuels.
Indeed the existing controls on biofuels are far more effective than the protection that the regulations seek (or would be able) to provide for the following reasons,
- There is no de minimis threshold in terms of company size, or amount of commodity used.
- Deforestation is happening at a very rapid rate, and much of it is probably on land which is not covered by a “relevant local law” in the sense of this legislation. Biofuels certification demonstrates no deforestation at Point of Origin regardless of local legal requirements.
- The reason for concern over deforestation stems from its impact on CO2 emissions and biodiversity. Other land use changes (such as from savannah, or species rich grassland, or peatland or indeed any other land use change) may also potentially have these impacts, and are therefore controlled by the biofuels RTFO but would not be covered under this proposal.