Former Secretary General of NATO and current Chairman of Rasmussen Global, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and Novozymes’ CEO, Peder Holk Nielsen are organizing a high-level policy conference at the European Parliament in Brussels on how to improve EU energy security with advanced biofuels. The conference will take place on February 25 and will feature key note speeches by Vice President in charge of the Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič, and Mr. Fogh Rasmsussen, while representatives from industry, trade organizations, Member States, Parliament and NGOs will share their perspectives as well.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Peder Holk Nielsen call attention to Europe’s problematic reliance on fossil fuel and to the efforts needed to promote sustainable energy sources.“Europe is addicted to oil. We live in a fossil-fuel-driven economy, and we depend highly on unstable states to fuel it. Other regions have been in this situation before us, and have dealt with it. As things stand now, Europe is not dealing with it at all”.
In their message, Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Peder Holk Nielsen clearly criticize the European Commission’s recent “State of the Energy Union” and the general EU policy on energy security on the grounds that it has not helped us to reduce foreign oil imports and to encourage large-scale investments in alternatives.
“The EU remains overwhelmingly reliant on foreign oil: for each 100 litres consumed in the bloc, 90 litres are imported – and the situation will, according to the IEA, only get worse. EU member states spent a staggering €271 billion on imported oil in 2014 – more than the GDP of Denmark. The EU is heavily dependent on oil imports with around half coming from Russia, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria – making the European Union extremely vulnerable to unpredictable geopolitical tensions and conflicts”.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Peder Holk Nielsen believe that only by the creation of a real Energy Union will Europe be able to decrease its dependency on imported oil and lower CO2 emissions in order to ensure solid implementation of the existing 2020 targets.
In this context, advanced biofuel is the key solution to reduce Europe’s reliance on oil since it “kills kills three birds with one stone: Improved energy security, better environment and more jobs. Stepping up production of advanced biofuels can supplement and gradually replace oil imports. Already by 2030, it could displace up to 16% of road transport fuel, according to the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT)”.
The United States and Brazil provide a compelling example of how an ambitious policy can work determinedly to stimulate investments in alternative fuel plants in order to reduce foreign oil imports. In the US advanced biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol from waste and residues represent reductions in lifecycle CO2 emissions of between 88% and 108%. Brazil is a net oil exporter and the world’s second-largest producer of bioethanol, which has replaced more than one-quarter of the gasoline once used in the country.
The technology in Europe is ready. “Using it would be good for energy security, the environment, and for jobs in rural areas. But to use it, we need a clear and unambiguous EU policy”.