Archive
2020
14 - 22 Sep 2020
Module 1 - Agricultural Commodities and Sustainability Certification
12 - 20 Oct 2020
Module 2: Renewable Energy, Climate Change and Food Security
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Module 2: Renewable Energy, Climate Change and Food Security:
Low iLUC Risk Palm Oil Biofuel - Methods and problems with the EU RED II & Delegated Regulation
Dr. Jannick Schmidt
CEO of 2.-0 LCA consultants and assistant professor at Aalborg University. Environmental management engineer from 2002 from Aalborg University. Jannick Schmidt obtained his Ph.D. in 2007 with a study on life cycle assessment of rapeseed oil and palm oil. Main areas of expertise and experience are life cycle assessments of agricultural and food products, and development of LCA methodology regarding indirect land use changes (iLUC) and LCA databases and input-output databases. Jannick has worked with LCA on palm oil since 2004. He is working for major producers, users, industry associations, NGOs and in academia.
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The EU regulation of biofuels is lined out under the EU RED II & Delegated Regulation. A crucial requirement on biofuels is that only so-called "low indirect land use changes (iLUC) risk biofuels" can be counted as renewable. The criteria for that are defined in the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/807. In short, a feedstock is "high risk iLUC" if one or more of the following conditions apply (only agricultural biomass is considered here).
a) the global cultivated area of the feedstock increases more than 1% per year, and affected area >100,000 ha,
b) the expansion into land with high carbon stock is >10%,
c) feedstock from land under cleared primary forest/high biodiversity value/nature protection after 2008,
d) feedstock from cleared high carbon stock land after 2008,
e) feedstock from land that was peatland in 2008,
f) the feedstock has not been produced from additional feedstock that have become attractive because of the RED, or if abandoned land is not used, or if they are not supplied by smallholders.

It cannot be supported by scientific evidence that the above criteria contribute to reduce the climate impact from biofuels. Criteria a-b are focused on individual large feedstock, not taking into account that several different smaller feedstock can have the same impact as one big. Further, these criteria do not address the fact that within one feedstock, there may be large differences on the performance of individual producers or groups of producers, e.g. RSPO certified palm oil producers. Criteria c-e all focus on the historical land use changes, which is not connected to current and future supply of biofuel feedstock. For criteria f, the size of a producer (smallholder) is not linked to its impact on the climate. Concluding, the scientific basis of the RED II is problematic.
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