Countries Defying Biofuels Directives Put On Notice

The European Commission took Luxembourg, Italy and Portugal to the Court of Justice and sent a reasoned opinion to Slovakia for failure to fulfill its obligations under the Biofuels Directive, which requires that an increasing proportion of all diesel and gasoline sold in the Member States be biofuels, starting with 2 percent in 2005 and progressively increasing so as to reach a minimum of 5.75 percent of fuels sold in 2010.

The Commission also sent letters of formal notice to 16 Member States about the national report they need to submit to the Commission for the year 2005. “Today biofuels are the only substitute for fossil fuels in transport,” said Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs. “They will contribute to our security of energy supply, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs in rural areas. I regret that Member States are still late in implementing these rules.” The Commission decided to initiate court proceedings against Luxembourg and Portugal for failure to communicate measures transposing the biofuels directive[1]. This should have been done by the end of 2004. It was decided to initiate court proceedings against Italy and Luxembourg for failure to submit the national reports, which were required under the terms of the directive by 1st July 2004. It was also decided to send a reasoned opinion to Slovakia for failure to communicate transposition measures, and a letter of formal notice to Italy for failure to adequately motivate its decision to set a national indicative biofuels target for 2005 at a level of 0.5 percent — compared with the 2 percent reference value laid down in the directive. Finally, the Commission sent letters of formal notice to ten Member States that have not yet submitted their national reports for 2005[2], and to six Member States whose 2005 report did not include all the information required under the terms of the directive[3]. Biofuels include biodiesel made from oil seeds (especially rape) and used cooking oil; bioethanol made from grain and sugar crops; and biogas made from landfill gas and farm waste. In its new biomass action plan, adopted on 7th December, the Commission has set out measures to further promote biofuels. [1] Directive 2003/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 May 2003 on the promotion of the use of biofuels and other renewable fuels for transport, OJ L123 of 17 May 2003. [2] Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, the Slovak Republic and Spain. [3] The Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia and Lithuania.
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