Mechanisms to control the fulfillment of the EU sustainability criteria for transport biofuels in Directive 2009/28/EC
control of the fulfillment
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AbstractTo function efficiently, a framework in environmental law should contain certain mechanisms or supplementary elements that facilitate the implementation and enforcement of environmental regulations, for example such mechanisms and elements that answer for the control and supervision of the legislated requirements. Appropriately organized control mechanisms are important for a legal framework to function as it has been aimed for and to fulfill its purposes. The present article is focused on the analysis of the mechanisms chosen to control the fulfillment of the European Union (EU) sustainability criteria for transport biofuels, which have been presented in Directive 2009/28/EC. The analysis is extended to the related policy documents. Two main levels of the EU control can be distinguished. The first one is exercised by the EU internal bodies on how the sustainability criteria are fulfilled by the Member States. This level of control is primarily characterized by the scheduled reporting obligations of the Member States. The second level of control is aimed to take place within the Member States. The implication of Directive 2009/28/EC is that the Member States shall organize national systems, which control and are able to prove that biofuels, counted for the achievement of the national binding target in the transport sector, fulfill the legislated sustainability criteria. According to the suggested classification, the second level of control also includes meeting bilateral and multilateral agreements, as well as that the sustainability criteria in Directive 2009/28/EC can be counted as fulfilled, when similar sustainability criteria in voluntary sustainability standards benchmarked by the EU Commission are fulfilled. The opinion expressed in the article is that the EU approach to control the fulfillment of the sustainability criteria is rather complicated. It requires further reflections, elaborations and possibly simplifications. Suggestions are made that certain elements of the EU approach to control can be efficiently borrowed by other industries with similar challenging issues.