Palm oil no longer considered ‘biofuel’ in France

(EurActiv, 18 Jan 2019) In a rare revolt against the government, the French National Assembly has passed a bill explicitly saying palm oil “is not a biofuel” and won’t be eligible for tax breaks as of 1 January 2020. In Europe, a decision is expected in the coming weeks. EURACTIV France reports.

The fight against imported deforestation is slowly progressing. As part of the French finance bill for 2019, French MPs have just voted to end tax advantages benefitting agrofuels derived from palm oil.

Currently, palm oil imported into France to produce agrofuels benefits from a reduction in the general tax on polluting activities (TGAP). This provision, which was intended to promote the development of biofuels, will no longer benefit palm oil as of 1 January 2020.

This is because agrofuels based on palm oil “are not biofuels,” according to the French MPs who wrote the amendment.

“Expanding palm oil plantations contributes to deforestation in Southern countries,” French MPs underlined in their amendment.

“Moreover, if the effect of indirect land-use change (ILUC) was included in the greenhouse gas balance, palm oil would be the most damaging biofuel for the climate,” they added.

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EurActiv, 18 Jan 2019: Palm oil no longer considered ‘biofuel’ in France