EU biofuel subsidies much lower than IISD originally reported

By Ron Kotrba | August 26, 2013

The International Institute for Sustainable Development has corrected a big error it made in an April report regarding how much money the EU biofuel sector receives in excise tax exemptions from member states. In April, the IISD’s Global Subsidies Initiative published a report, titled, “Biofuels—At What Cost? A review of costs and benefits of EU biofuel policies,” in which the organization stated the EU biofuel sector received €5.8 billion in excise tax exemptions in 2011. On Aug. 23, an addendum to that report was published, and new figures show the organization overestimated excise tax exemptions by nearly three-fold in its April report.

“IISD apologizes for the error and any confusion it has caused,” it stated. “The updated estimate for fuel excise tax exemption is €2.047 billion in total, made up of €562 million for ethanol and €1.485 billion for biodiesel. The corrected estimate is lower than the original estimates by €3.757 billion in total. For bioethanol, the estimate is €2.048 billion lower. For biodiesel, the estimate is €1.709 billion lower.”

As a result, the overall estimate for EU biofuels subsidies is €5.515–€6.896 billion, compared to €9.272–€10.653 billion published in the original report.

IISD says only the estimate for fuel excise tax exemption for ethanol and biodiesel has been changed and all other estimates remain the same, “including the market transfers, which make up the largest type of subsidy,” the group stated.

Click here to view or download the addendum.


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