Existing international sustainability regulations
Today, there are various sustainability regulations that affect the production of fuels from renewable resources. The main provisions and initiatives are summarised in the following overview:
Biofuel Sustainability Ordinance (Biokraft-NachV)
This regulation sets binding sustainability criteria for fuels from renewable resources and defines requirements for demonstrating sustainability. It exists since the end of 2009.
Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP)
The initiative was launched under the umbrella of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2007. In mid-2011, GBEP agreed on 24 relevant and scientifically validated indicators to estimate the sustainable production and use of bioenergy.
Guiding Principles for Sustainable Biofuels produced in Canada
In 2010, the Canadian government and the fuel industry agreed on sustainability criteria for biomass production and fuel production from renewable resources. These include not only ecological, but in particular social aspects such as human rights.
Regulation of Fuels and Fuels Additives (RFS2) in the USA
The US fuel sector efficiency targets for renewable jet fuels are linked to a number of sustainability criteria. The state of California has its own Low Carbon Fuels Standard (LCFS).
Need for international sustainability provisions
These regulations emphasize that the production of fuels from renewable resources is increasingly subject to sustainability regulations. However, the different regional priorities, the coverage of criteria and the verification lead to high adaptation costs.
An international framework is needed to facilitate comparability and thus recognition of the sustainability of a fuel from renewable resources for aviation worldwide. This should include environmental, economic and social aspects.
The recommendations of the GBEP or the sustainability criteria catalogues and certification processes of the RSB (Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels) and the ISCC (International Sustainability & Carbon Certification) can serve as examples of what an internationally accepted sustainability standard could look like.