Controlling the fulfillment of the EU sustainability criteria for transport biofuels (on the basis of directive 2009/28/EC). Part 2 A short version

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The article reflects on the mechanisms aimed to control the fulfillment of the EU sustainability criteria for biofuels, as they were promoted in Directive 2009/28/EC. The article contains the final results of the research initiated in the work Pavlovskaia, E. (2013) “Controlling the Fulfillment of the EU Sustainability Criteria for Transport Biofuels”, which was published in RELP 4/2013. The article is written in a consistent and summarizing form. It underlines that the EU approach to control the fulfillment of the sustainability criteria for biofuels has certain challenging issues and weaknesses, which make it uncertain whether the EU sustainability criteria can be implemented efficiently. The article points out that EU relies much on independent auditors. Their competence and the results of their work are not double- checked by any of the EU administrative bodies. This can give rise to fraud at any stage of the production chain. What is more, EU allows the co-existence of voluntary sustainability standards, approved by the EU Commission, which contain non-homogeneous sustainability criteria and basically function on their own. This can lead to situations when biofuels with different quality characteristics are treated as the same product. A number of aspects in the EU approach are detected that are not easy to improve in practice. For example, control of the sustainability criterion on the use of land presupposes the existence of a regime that functions beyond what a particular biofuel producer is able and capable of achieving. There are no such regimes at present, and it is doubtful whether and when they are created in the future. Besides, it is not clear how the whole production chains for biofuels should be defined, and how this information should be controlled. The article suggests that the EU approach to control the fulfillment of the sustainability criteria needs further reconsideration, research and development. Alternative and complementary control mechanisms should be worked out.


  • Evgenia Pavlovskaia
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Law


  • environmental law, control of the fulfillment, sustainability criteria, biofuels, directive 2009/28/EC, miljörätt
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-106
JournalRenewable Energy Law and Policy Review (RELP)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch