Norway Presses EU on Biofuels

Without rules about use of biofusels, there is a risk that the cultivation of biofuels displaces forest or peat bog, and increases greenhouse gas emissions.

"We must ensure that biofuels are produced in a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, Norway will set specific values for the climate impact of displacement. It must be taken into account when we consider how biofuels affect the climate, compared with fossil fuels, "said Environment and Development Minister Erik Solheim.

Norway will also have a bonus system for raw materials with little or no risk of displacement effect. This can be biofuels that are made of waste. Such a bonus system should not mean a double counting of greenhouse gains.

Biofuels can provide reduction of emissions from transportation. But the greenhouse effect varies from including the type of ingredients you use, where it is grown to how it is processed.

– It is particularly unfortunate if the increased production of biofuels displaces agricultural production," said the minister.

EU Should Act Immediately

EU's sustainability criteria currently include no displacement effects of biofuels. On the other hand, Norway recommends that research and studiesshould emphasis on how we can avoid displacement effects than to attempt to quantify the effects accurately.

The EU directives state that the issue of displacement effects will be addressed in a separate process. The European Commission will by the end of 2010 focus on the issue. If the commision sees a need to present proposals on the issue, they will act.

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