EU ethanol producers challenge EU maritime biofuels regulation

EU ethanol producers challenge EU maritime biofuels regulation

European renewable ethanol producers filed a legal challenge on January 31, 2024 against the EU’s FuelEU Maritime Regulation.

The regulation fails to recognise benefits of sustainable crop-based biofuels like renewable ethanol, the producers claim. Companies representing most of Europe’s ethanol output seek to annul provisions treating such biofuels equal to the most carbon intensive fossil fuels.

“The EU’s conflicting stances on renewable ethanol jeopardizes decarbonisation goals,” said ePURE Director General David Carpintero. “Given climate targets, Europe should better utilise proven domestic solutions like ethanol.”

The legal action argues the EU violated procedures by ignoring scientific data on biofuels’ environmental impact. It also violated proportionality and equal treatment principles in the view of producers.

The case was filed by ePURE members and Pannonia Bio Zrt with the European General Court on December 18, 2023.

ePURE represents European renewable ethanol producers. ePURE members account for 85% of EU renewable ethanol production.

“Transport policies unstable like this drive away investors to places like the U.S. with better biofuels frameworks,” said Pannonia CEO Mark Turley. “It is irresponsible and legally questionable.”