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European Union Policy on Bioenergy and the Role of Sustainability Criteria and Certification Systems


  • Schlegel Stephanie

    (Ecologic — Institute for International and European Environmental Policy)

  • Kaphengst Timo

    (Ecologic — Institute for International and European Environmental Policy)


The EU has set ambitious targets to raise the share of renewable energies, particularly biofuels. With an increasingly controversial public debate and more scientific evidence about the downsites of biofuels, recently the European Unions biofuel targets have been bound to the condition that they have to be produced sustainable. Therefore the European Commission is currently developing sustainability criteria for biofuels.Establishing certification schemes is a possible strategy to ensure that bioenergy crops are produced in a sustainable manner. However, many questions with regard to the design and implementation of sustainability criteria and certification schemes remain unsolved.This article discusses the role that bioenergy plays in the European policy context and the approach the EU is currently following in order to ensure the sustainability of biofuels. It addresses the limits of the chosen approach, concluding that certification schemes can not serve as the only safeguard for sustainable bioenergy, but need to be complemented by other tools and policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Schlegel Stephanie & Kaphengst Timo, 2007. "European Union Policy on Bioenergy and the Role of Sustainability Criteria and Certification Systems," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-19, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bjafio:v:5:y:2007:i:2:n:7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eidman, Vernon R., 2007. "Economic Parameters for Corn Ethanol and Biodiesel Production," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 39(02), August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Milazzo, M.F. & Spina, F. & Cavallaro, S. & Bart, J.C.J., 2013. "Sustainable soy biodiesel," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 806-852.
    2. Kirsten Selbmann & Lydia Pforte, 2016. "Evaluation of Ecological Criteria of Biofuel Certification in Germany," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(9), pages 1-16, September.
    3. Elofsson, Katarina & Gren, Ing-Marie, 2013. "Should forests be used as uncertain carbon sinks or uncertain fossil fuel substitutes in the EU Roadmap to 2050?," Working Paper Series 2013:8, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department Economics.
    4. Pacini, Henrique & Assunção, Lucas & van Dam, Jinke & Toneto, Rudinei, 2013. "The price for biofuels sustainability," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 898-903.
    5. Dale, Virginia H. & Kline, Keith L. & Buford, Marilyn A. & Volk, Timothy A. & Tattersall Smith, C. & Stupak, Inge, 2016. "Incorporating bioenergy into sustainable landscape designs," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 1158-1171.
    6. Hira, Anil, 2011. "Sugar rush: Prospects for a global ethanol market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(11), pages 6925-6935.
    7. Kessler, Jeff & Sperling, Daniel, 2016. "Tracking U.S. biofuel innovation through patents," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 97-107.

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