46 organisation call on EU to ensure full recognition of imported biomethane in Union Database

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Forty-six companies and associations, including Central and Eastern European ones (like Ukraine’s Naftogaz, Hungary’s FGSZ and the Czech Gas Association) are calling on the European Commission to ensure a full recognition of imported biomethane and biomethane-based fuels in the Union Database.

The letter follows a decision made by the Commission earlier in November, to exclude the certification of biomethane and by extension biomethane-based fuels when these rely on transport through extra-EU grids.

“Immediate action is needed,” read the joint letter. “The Union Database for liquid fuels was launched in January 2024 and will be launched for gaseous fuels by no later than November 2024. No limitation should exist for fuels which demonstrate full compliance with sustainability and GHG emissions-saving requirements equivalent to those defined in the Renewable Energy Directive. […] The use of biomethane and biomethane-based fuels should be encouraged and using existing transport infrastructure should not penalise end-users in the EU who rely on these fuels to achieve the EU climate targets.

According to the signatories, the European Commission’s proposed approach also sends a negative signal for hydrogen and its derivatives, which will rely on the Union Database and for which imports are considered of critical importance by the European Commission, as in the REPowerEU with a target of 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen imported.

“Overall, the attractiveness of the EU market for these renewable fuels will be damaged,” continues the letter. “It will jeopardise investments made by partners in third countries and erode their long-term trust in regulatory stability.”

The signatories have recommended that the European Commission clarify the reasons for and the legal provisions upon which it relies for changing the currently applied certification requirements of Voluntary Schemes and exclude certified and mass-balanced volumes produced in third countries. Also, they are demanding a clarification about which requirements third countries and/or the voluntary international schemes setting standards must meet to fully participate in the Union Database. Finally, they 46 organisations are asking the Commission to confirm that an interim solution will be implemented ensuring immediate recognition of products meeting the sustainable and GHG reduction requirements applicable to EU production while a long-term solution is being developed.

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