The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law series
Edited by Yves Le Bouthillier, Annette Cowie, Paul Martin and Heather McLeod-Kilmurray
Chapter 8: Belgian and French biofuel support measures in light of Argentina’s challenge under the WTO Subsidies Agreement
The European Union (EU) Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and the EU Fuel Quality Directive were adopted in 2009 and each Directive set targets for the EU to achieve by 2020. First, the EU-RED requires that renewable energy must account for 20% of the EU’s overall gross energy consumption in 2020; this figure is further broken down and tailored to each EU Member State. Second, the EU-RED requires that each EU Member State ensure that 10% of the final energy consumption used by all forms of transport consists of renewable energy in 2020. Third, according to the EU Fuel Quality Directive, EU Member States must compel fuel and energy suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of energy by 10% before 31 December 2020 (together the “Renewable and GHG Saving Targets”). Both the EU-RED and the EU Fuel Quality Directive specify that only biofuels that comply with the enumerated sustainability criteria can qualify to achieve the Renewable and GHG Saving Targets and in order to qualify for financial support related to the consumption of biofuels. Among other sustainability criteria, the EU-RED and the EU Fuel Quality Directive require that the use of eligible biofuels entail a GHG emission reduction of 35% when compared with the use of fossil fuels.
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