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eNews from Thursday, July 15, 2010

FEDIOL Formally Withdraws From Membership in the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels

Press Release -- BRUSSELS, BELGIUM -- July 9, 2010 -- The FEDIOL Executive Board decided in June to withdraw its support from the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) and this decision has been communicated to the RSB today.

FEDIOL was a member of the RSB since March 2009 and took an active part in the discussions of Chamber 2 (Biofuel producers). We aimed at defending the interests of the industry in an open and constructive way. The work of the roundtable has unfortunately suffered from a lack of transparency throughout the work and decision-making process. This has undermined the effort to reach a multi-stakeholder consensus on realistic principles and criteria for sustainable biofuels. In addition, the pace of the often highly technical discussions has not allowed stakeholders to make informed decisions.

Despite recent changes, the RSB governance structure of the roundtable is not adapted to ensure the buy-in of all key constituencies. Feedstock processors and biofuels producers are clearly underrepresented at Steering Board level. This has created structural difficulties in taking into account the expertise of the industry when defining the RSB principles and criteria and could lead to a system which will not be workable and feasible.

As a result of the governance issue and the lack of transparency, the RSB Principles and Criteria reveal a total disconnect with the reality of biofuels production, making compliance nearly impossible. In addition, the principles and criteria are designed in such a way that farmers, feedstock producers and biofuel producers bear almost the entire responsibility in demonstrating compliance. The responsibility is therefore not shared throughout the supply chain as the biofuel blenders are exempted from demonstrating compliance with almost all the principles and criteria.

FEDIOL remains committed to sustainability and to the work of multi-stakeholder platforms as demonstrated by its involvement in the Roundtable on Responsible Soy and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. FEDIOL draws the conclusion of the fact that it has been unable to meaningfully contribute to the RSB objective in the current setup of the Roundtable. We hope, however, that the RSB will be able to deliver a workable contribution to making the sustainable production of biofuels mainstream.

For FEDIOL, the primary objective remains to work on the implementation of Europe’s groundbreaking legislation on the sustainability of biofuels. The industry therefore actively contributes to making sustainable biofuels production a reality.

Contact:
N. Lecocq
168, avenue de Tervuren (bte 12)
B 1150 Bruxelles
Tel (32) 2 771 53 30
Fax (32) 2 771 38 17
Email : fediol@fediol.be
http://www.fediol.be
 

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