On 21st November 2007, the German Minister of Agriculture, Horst Seehofer, and the German Minister of the Environment, Sigmar Gabriel, presented a strategy on Germany’s climate and energy policy in the biofuel sector – the "Biofuels Roadmap".
“The Biofuels Roadmap makes an important contribution to the government’s climate and energy policy as well as to the development of Germany’s rural areas. The Roadmap is a clear commitment to sustainability. The promotion of biofuels is an important opportunity for the economy as well as for developments in rural areas,” said Seehofer in Berlin.
“Biofuels can make an important contribution to climate protection in cases where they lead to a significant reduction of CO2. Laws will be put in place in order to guarantee that this is taken into account. In addition, we will also ensure that imported biomass is only used if it has been cultivated in a sustainable way. It is irresponsible to use palm oil as a so-called climate-friendly raw material in Germany considering that areas in other parts of the world are cleared and moors drained to enable its production,” said Federal Minister of the Environment Sigmar Gabriel.Biofuels Roadmap
At the “biofuels” roundtable, the two ministries came together along with representatives from the car industry, the mineral oil industry, agriculture and the biofuel industry to work out a joint strategy for the increase of the proportion of biofuels relative to overall fuel consumption over the next few years. This led to the “Biofuels Roadmap”, a paper on the expansion of biofuel use in Germany. Outstanding goals that form part of this strategy are the increase of the proportion of bioethanol added to Otto fuel from currently 5 % vol to 10 % vol and the increase in the amount of biodiesel added to regular diesel to 7 % vol. A higher percentage is currently technically impossible due to the quality requirements of the car industry.
The German Federal Ministry of Agriculture specifically supports research and development in order to improve the efficiency of biofuels and their contribution to climate protection and economisation of resources.
Sustainability directive and certification
The commitment to the sustainable production of biomass for biofuels helps prevent undesirable developments. In the field of biofuels, BMELV and BMU are currently working on a sustainability directive, which will support production and use of biofuels with certification. Sustainability criteria are, for example, the sustainable cultivation of agricultural areas, certain requirements for the protection of natural habitats or a specific potential for the reduction of CO2. The German government also promotes an internationally recognised system for the sustainable production and certification of biomass for energy on the international level, for example through the Global Bioenergy Partnership.
Source: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) - 21.11.2007