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Approval of European Directive for Renewables in Transport a ‘Positive Signal’ for Biofuel Producers, Consumers and Investors According to Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association

December 17, 2008

SAO PAULO, Brazil, Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ — Today’s approval by the
European Parliament of the Renewable Energy Sources Directive is a clear sign
that a sustainable market for renewables in transport will be created in the
European Union. The decision by the EU, which calls for the adoption of a 10%
mandatory target by 2020 for renewables in the transport sector, is “the
positive signal biofuels producers, consumers and investors have been waiting
for,” according to Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) president
and CEO, Marcos Jank.

The mandatory 10% target, which includes comprehensive sustainability
criteria for biofuels and bioliquids, will allow the European Union to move
away from a fossil fuel based economy and face challenges posed by climate
change and energy security, while diversifying its energy sources. The
decision by the European Parliament, which endorses the political agreement
reached by the European Council on December 11, is an important and balanced
step forward according to Jank:

“With the Directive, Europe moves closer to defining a sustainable market
for renewable fuels in transport, including but not limited to biofuels, and
Brazilian sugarcane-based ethanol is in a position to contribute sustainably
to the EU’s ambitious objectives.”

Already a significant player on the EU ethanol market, Brazil’s sugarcane
industry is confident the sustainability criteria set out in the Directive
will be complied with. UNICA welcomes the progressive increase of the
‘efficiency threshold’, which gradually increases the requirements for
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions savings compared to fossil fuels, from 35% when
the Directive enters into force in 2010, to 50% by 2017 and 60% for new
projects launched as of 2017. The establishment of areas of high biodiversity
and carbon stock as “no go areas,” already a reality in key sugarcane growing
and ethanol producing regions of Brazil, is also supported by the Brazilian
cane industry.

“Strict national legislation and the industry’s own initiatives already in
place, plus land use planning instruments like the agro-ecological zoning
adopted in September 2008 in the most important sugarcane growing region in
the world, the State of Sao Paulo, are realities in Brazil. Add to this the
federal government’s upcoming national mapping of regions suitable for
sugarcane, and you have a solid set of safeguards ensuring that the expansion
of sugarcane does not endanger sensitive areas or compete for land with other
agricultural activities,” adds Marcos Jank.

UNICA also welcomes the balanced approach chosen by the EU regarding the
impact of so-called “indirect land use changes” (ILUC) on GHG emissions.
According to Jank, the decision to pursue the development of an appropriate
methodology is a positive sign that the European Commission wants to properly
assess these effects, indicating a willingness to rely on sound scientific
criteria, accepted and applicable globally: “To ensure potential ILUC is
properly analyzed, the scientific community has to be given enough time to
deliver reliable, solid results.”

To keep the sustainability criteria in the Directive from becoming new
non-tariff barriers to trade, UNICA urges the EC to publish clear,
comprehensive guidelines for their implementation. “The certification of
sustainable biofuels is the next step to complete this process, which needs to
be addressed as soon as possible. In that respect, the EU-Brazil Summit on
December 22 in Rio de Janeiro provides an excellent opportunity for
advancement. UNICA hopes our leaders will include this issue on the event
agenda,” concludes Jank.

ABOUT UNICA

The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) represents the top
producers of sugar and ethanol in the country’s South-Central region, the
heart of the sugarcane industry. Along with its 116 member companies, UNICA
provides information on the sector, including statistics and specific
research, and enters into dialogue with stakeholders in support of Brazil’s
sugarcane, ethanol and bioelectricity sectors. Its member companies account
for more than 60% of Brazil’s sugar and ethanol production.

SOURCE Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA)


Source: newswire