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(updated 21 May 2019)
Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/807 of 13 March 2019 supplementing Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the determination of high indirect land-use change-risk feedstock for which a significant expansion of the production area into land with high carbon stock is observed and the certification of low indirect land-use change-risk biofuels, bioliquids and biomass fuels - OJ L 133, 21.5.2019, p. 1–7
(updated 13 March 2019)
European Commission specifies sustainability criteria for biofuels
As foreseen by the recast Renewable Energy Directive adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, which has already entered into force, the European Commission adopted on 13 March 2019 a delegated act setting out the criteria for determining high ILUC-risk feedstock for biofuels (biofuels for which a significant expansion of the production area into land with high-carbon stock is observed) and the criteria for certifying low indirect land-use change (ILUC)–risk biofuels, bioliquids and biomass fuels. An Annex to the act demonstrating the expansion of the production area of different kinds of crops has also been adopted.
The European Commission also adopted an accompanying report on the status of production expansion of relevant food and feed crops worldwide, based on the best available scientific data (Report and Annex).
Following the 13 March adoption by the European Commission of the Delegated Act and its submission to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, these two institutions have, during a two-month period scrutiny period, a right to express an objection, after which, if none are received, the text will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. This two-month period can be extended by another two months if requested by any of them.
Firstly and most importantly, there is no EU ban on palm oil and no plan to introduce one. The EU is by far the second-largest export market for Indonesian palm oil, with significantly lower tariffs than other markets. Furthermore, Indonesian palm oil exports to the EU increased by 27% in 2017 compared to 2016.
Secondly, what is frequently described here as a "black campaign" against palm oil is an expression of the genuine environmental concerns of consumers as well as manufacturers. Informed consumers (in the EU and elsewhere) increasingly favour healthier, fairer and more-sustainable consumption patterns: recycling waste, using canvas rather than plastic bags, buying locally grown produce and so on. Preserving our planet for future generations is at the core of these patterns. Such concerns as a perceived risk of deforestation, threats to biodiversity or the impact on climate change influence consumers' purchasing decisions. The fact that some companies label products as palm-oil free reflects those consumer preferences. The same could be said for organic, sugar-free or GMO-free labels on EU products.
EU Ambassador to Indonesia