European Commission slams Portugal for failing to comply with the RED

May 3, 2016 |

In Belgium, the European Commission has sent to Portugal a reasoned opinion urging the Member State to ensure the full compliance of its biofuel legislation with the Renewable Energy Directive. The Directive sets the objective of reaching a 20% share of renewable energy in the EU’s final energy consumption in 2020 which includes individual national targets in each Member State. With regard to transport, Member States have to ensure that 10 % of total energy consumption in that sector comes from renewable energy. One way of contributing to this specific transport target is promoting biofuels. In this context, the Directive requires biofuels to meet a set of harmonized sustainability requirements. Also, Member States are obliged to treat sustainable biofuels and the raw materials from which they were made equally, regardless of their country of origin. The Portuguese legislation on biofuels contradicts the Directive in two respects: First, it favours biofuels produced in Portugal over biofuels of other countries of origin that are equally suitable, but produced elsewhere. Second, the legislation imposes stricter sustainability requirements on some biofuels, without this being warranted by the Directive. Portugal now has two months to address the Commission’s concerns; otherwise the Commission may decide to refer Portugal to the Court of Justice of the EU.

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Category: Policy

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