Update January 2011

A. Biofuels


1. In last December, the Commission recognises that GHG emissions savings with regards to biofuels are in fact reduced by ILUC. .According to the report, it is now to conduct an impact assessment. In doing so to Commission is taking into account potential modifications to the existing regulation. The impact assessment is expected before July 2011.



EC must decide to which certification systems may be used under the Renewable Energy Directive. At least eleven different certification systems are under consideration. Among these, the ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) verifies the method for calculating reduction of emission in greenhouse gas emissions associated with fuel. But this certificate does not guarantee that biofuels are sustainable in all aspects: there are examples of ISCC certified biofuels which production drives illicit plantations and farmers’eviction.

Starting in 2011, Germany will require sustainability certification for all biofuels sold in that country, as 'guaranteeing' that both 'sustainability' and 'greenhouse gas reduction' standards are being met. The UK could do so. Neste Oil, a Finnish oil refining company, has obtained the ISCC for its NEX-B.T.L. renewable diesel in Germany. Lufthansa plans the first commercial flight with a mixture of fossil fuels and "bio" from April 2011, in partnership with Neste Oil, which operates mainly palm oil in Malaysia.


The Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) is looking for partners among the NGOs to increase its credibility because it is mainly composed of private investors. RSB is now discussing on GMOs for biofuels.


3. ETHIOPIA: Metehara sugar factory is now producing ethanol, bringing the country's ethanol production to 18.5 million liters per year. This breaks the monopoly on ethanol-blended fuel currently held by the Sudanese Nile Petroleum Company.


4. ZAMBIA: President Rupiah Banda has announced, following a state visit to Brazil where the Zambian authorities have explored the potential development of biofuels, the government will build a sugarcane ethanol plant in the eastern province.


5. jatropha : some industry players recognize that jatropha is not as "wonderful" as said by its proponents. If the industry abandons jatropha, this threatens many Africans who devoted land to this production. In DRC, the Chinese group Greater Kingdom asked for 10,000 hectares in each province to develop jatropha for biofuels, in addition to the exemption of taxes on equipment.


B. Environment enshrined in the constitution of Kenya: Although symbolic, this initiative demonstrates the possibility to include environmental protection in the base of our legal systems. Article 42: ‘Every person has the right to a clean and healthy environment, which includes the right—a) to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations through legislative and other measures.’ Article 69 declares “the State responsible for maintaining tree cover over at least ten percent of the nation’s land; for encouraging public participation in protecting and managing the environment; protecting indigenous knowledge of biodiversity; and establishing systems of environmental impact assessment.”


C. Regulation of food markets

Speculation on the commodity price increases volatility, and high prices are not temporary. EC has delayed the publication of a policy paper on raw materials and commodity markets because some elements are likely to face opposition from some Member States, primarily from France that is opposed to regulation of market. However, the first legislative proposal to review of the EU directive on market abuse is expected for spring 2011.

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