Criteria for a Sustainable Use of Bioenergy on a Global Scale

(2.5 Mb)


Produced by Environmental Research Department of the Geman Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety - Research Report 206 41 112, UBA-FB 001176/E

The German Biokraftstoffquotengesetz, the EU Biofuel Directive and other policy initiatives promote the production and use of bioenergy, liquid biofuel for transportation in particular. Such an increase requires a reliable verification on compliance with sustainability principles on a global scale. Domestic biofuels (e.g. RME) have to meet the same standards as palm oil or ethanol from sugarcane imported from tropical regions and vice verse. As a first step the German government has passed the Draft Biomass Sustainability Regulation in December 2007. This research project supported UBA and BMU to prepare that regulation. The overall goal was to examine the applicability of existing certification systems, which featured a number of good practice examples, e.g. FSC, SAN, RSPO. In practice, none of the existing systems addresses all sustainability issues raised by biomass production and use. Selection of the proposed set of criteria has taken into account the current international state of discussion. These include: Minimum target of GHG saving; avoidance of losses of HNV areas an losses of Biodiversity; minimizing the risk of water scarcity; involvement of stakeholders in decision making processes; respecting international labour standards. Within this research project the GHG methodology and the default values implemented in the Draft Biomass Sustainability Regulation have been elaborated.


Geman Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

(2.5 Mb)