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UFOP rejects Germany’s reduction of biofuels cap

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The German Federal Environment Ministry’s initiative to reduce the cap on biofuels from cultivated biomass has met with “incomprehension” from UFOP, which has said it rejects any change to the existing regulation.

Behind the utilisation of rapeseed oil for biodiesel is a production and processing structure that has grown over decades and is now closely networked with other branches of industry including the food industry.

The UFOP said it wanted to emphasise the importance of biofuels from cultivated biomass to the overall range of renewable fuels from residual and waste materials.

UFOP said: “UFOP recommends that federal minister Steffi Lemke take a closer look at the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Quota Act. The law, for which the Federal Environment Ministry is responsible, and which has attracted international attention, has triggered a competition for efficiency.”

This is because the companies obliged to reduce GHG emissions are interested in achieving the best possible price-performance ratio with regard to GHG reduction. This efficiency competition, which is unique in climate policy, has reduced the quantity required to meet quotas.

For example, the share of biodiesel from rapeseed oil in the biofuel mix practically halved between 2014 and 2020. The payment to be made in the event of non-fulfilment of the quota (penalty) is preferably paid if the biofuel is more expensive in relation to this.

This is currently the case, due to the price increase on the agricultural commodity markets. The UFOP argues that legal intervention is therefore unecessary, because the existing legal regulations balance out the market.