Brazil's Sugar Cane Industry welcomes European Commission proposed directive on renewable energy sources
SAO PAULO — The Brazilian Sugar Cane Industry Association (UNICA) welcomes the proposal by the European Commission released today as a sensible approach to meet the ambitious
binding targets agreed on by heads of government from the European Union last March.
The draft directive paves the way for biofuels to make up at least 10% of transport fuels in Europe by 2020, which goes a long way towards the development and consolidation of a biofuels market
The draft directive, which must be approved by the European Parliament and member states, calls for the development of criteria to ensure biofuels produce at least 35% less greenhouse gases and
are produced in a sustainable manner based on «the best available scientific evidence and relevant international norms.«
«We welcome regulation that encourages sustainable production in a cost- effective way,» said UNICA President and CEO Marcos Jank.
UNICA welcomes the fact that criteria for sustainability in the EC proposal does not discriminate against imported biofuels. However, it is paramount that definitions for certain items within
that criteria be further refined, to ensure they don’t run counter to the overall non-discrimination principles in the document.
It is also of the utmost importance that other EC directives now being developed, as well as individual initiatives by member states, are in tune with the Directive on Renewable Energies. This
is a vital point in order for compatibility between all of these valuable initiatives concerning biofuels to be achieved, while avoiding multiple criteria which could, together, raise
«The EC’s directive recognizes that not all biofuels are alike and that government policies should be aimed at encouraging best practices for sustainable biofuels production,» says
Geraldine Kutas, UNICA’s International Advisor.
The Brazilian experience shows that biofuels can make a significant contribution to the mitigation of Global Warming. In 2007, 45% of all fuel used by light vehicles was sugarcane ethanol,
which allowed Brazil to reduce its CO2 emissions by 25.8 million tons.
About UNICA – The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) represents the top producers of sugar and ethanol in the country’s South-Central region, especially the state
of Sao Paulo, which accounts for 60% of the country’s total production. Along with its 101 member companies, UNICA develops position papers, statistics and specific research in support of
Brazil’s sugar, ethanol and bioelectricity sectors. Its membership accounts for about 50% of Brazil’s sugarcane harvest. In 2007, Brazil produced 425 million metric tons of sugarcane, which
yielded 29.8 million tons of sugar and 17.7 billion liters of ethanol.