The green transition in the transport sector requires the rapid introduction of green, affordable technologies that are now available and ready for rapid deployment. Biomethane, enriched biogas from waste, is indeed a highly sustainable energy source for transport, benefiting from existing technologies (bio-CNG, bio-LNG). According to various assessments, the potential of biomethane is around 370 TWh by 2030 and around 1000–1200 TWh by 2050. In the transport sector, 40% of all gas consumed in the EU by 2030 may be biomethane.
Biomethane transforms post-production waste mainly from the agri-food industry and municipal services into resources and offers solutions to many long-term environmental challenges: reduction of CO2 emissions (achieving not only zero, but even negative emissions), improvement of soil fertility, cleaner water and good air quality. It is biomethane that contributes, directly or indirectly, to each of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals . This makes this biogas unique compared to other alternatives in the areas of transport and waste treatment. Moreover, based on proven technologies, biomethane is readily available, inexpensive and will contribute to the maintenance of a strong EU automotive industry.
The introduction of biomethane enables the integration of many sectors at the same time: sustainable agriculture and socio-economic development of rural areas, waste management, transport, industry and, above all, energy production.
However, current legislation discourages vehicle manufacturers from developing and offering biomethane vehicles. CO2 emission standards as they are currently designed prevent Europe from realizing the full potential and benefits of biomethane for transport. This is completely against the scientific findings: biomethane is one of the absolutely lowest greenhouse gas emission options that can be used to decarbonise road transport.
The current CO2 emission standards also run counter to the revised Renewable Energy Directive, which sets a favorable framework for the use of biomethane in transport. Limiting CO2 emissions only at the level of the actual tailpipe emissions of the vehicle is insufficient to ensure the transition to carbon neutral transport. Moreover, since the introduction of fully electric and fuel cell vehicles onto the market, CO2 emissions at the tailpipe level no longer serve as an effective measure of vehicle energy efficiency.
With all this in mind, we call on the European Commission to remove the above barrier preventing Europe from realizing the potential and benefits of biomethane for transport. The following EU legislation needs to be reviewed to recognize the contribution of biomethane and other advanced renewable fuels to reducing CO2 emissions in the transport sector:
CO2 emission standards for new vehicles [(EU) 2019/631 and (EU) 2019/1242)]
Sustainable Finance Taxonomy (Climate Change Mitigation Delegated Regulation)
Clean Vehicles Directive [(EU) 2019/1161]
The appeal was signed by 11 MEPs from Slovenia, Sweden, Finland, Italy and France.
The text of the entire appeal in English: https://bit.ly/3vXIiAw
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