Renewable energy: a widely acknowledged contribution from agriculture

Renewable energy: a widely acknowledged contribution from agriculture

By a very large majority, the European Parliament has just adopted its position on the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) relative to the production and promotion of energy from renewable sources in the EU.

This negotiating position fully acknowledges the efforts and investments made by European agriculture in general and France in particular and made it possible to incorporate 7.7% of biofuel in diesel used for transport. It confirms that the biofuel incorporation level reached in 2017 will be maintained, or 7% based on products that can be used for human foods or livestock feeds. This will indeed be sufficient to restore fragile perspectives for the investments made to date but is nevertheless insufficient to assure their long-term future. Finally, it should be possible to sustain supplies of the non-GMO European vegetable proteins that are essential for our livestock sector.

Under the terms determined by the Parliament, the obligation of 12% renewable energy in transport is likely to ensure that Member States will indeed accomplish the efforts demanded of them. To achieve this, conventional biofuels are essential.  Beyond that, the proposal concerning a ban on the use of palm oil to produce biofuels in Europe demonstrates that the European Union wishes to find internal solutions regarding sustainability and a circular economy that will notably highlight the positive contributions made by European agriculture to mitigating climate change. For actors in the French vegetable oils and proteins sector and the French biodiesel sector, it would be unacceptable that the legitimate ambitions declared by the EU should be fulfilled using imported products that benefit from unfair trading conditions (for example: Argentine soybean biodiesel or Indonesian palm biodiesel) in a context that is particularly problematic for European and national industrial actors.

It is now necessary for the Parliament, Council and Commission to find a final compromise on this Directive which is of considerable importance because it commits the EU and Member States to implementing the Paris Agreement in order to limit global warming during the years to come. Actors in the French vegetable oils and proteins sector and the French biodiesel sector are demanding that the terms of this agreement should indeed be implemented in practice.

These actors would like to thank the MEPs for their ambitious stand and hope that this will be fully confirmed for conventional biofuels in the text that results from a common position being adopted by the Council, Parliament and Commission. It is indeed by giving visibility and time to the sectors and producers concerned that it will be possible to further improve the contribution of agriculture to the major challenges that we all face.




FOP – Thibaut LEDERMANN – +33 6 50 69 20 08 –

TERRES UNIVIA – Alissa SCHOLL – +33 1 39 53 53 33 –


AVRIL GROUP – Tom DORON – +33 6 26 28 39 94 –