The European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive aims to accelerate the transition to renewable energy in the Community to support the EU energy policy goals of energy security, sustainability, and competitiveness.

At the same time, the Directive – especially in its biofuels components – must also recognise the need for convergence between global and regional policy objectives. Such convergence is seen as necessary in order to align regional energy-economic objectives with global environment and development policies in general and climate policy in particular.

In this article, the biofuels components of the Directive are evaluated – particularly the sustainability criteria – in terms of their relation to the EU energy strategy and the resulting effects on energy, climate, and development policy objectives.

It is found that the design and implementation of the sustainability criteria weaken the effect of the Directive’s potential impacts on global energy markets and international development objectives, while somewhat strengthening the internal EU market and technology objectives.

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