Palm oil reinstated in the list of biofuels?

Palm oil reinstated in the list of biofuels?

During the examination of the draft budget law for 2020, the deputies voted to maintain until 2026 palm oil in the list of biofuels.

This summer, the world was moved by fires ravaging the Amazon rainforest, mainly in Brazil, but also in Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay. This did not prevent France from adopting four months later, in the Assembly, an amendment reinstating palm oil in the list of biofuels subject to a tax benefit, until 2026. Cosigné by 8 deputies of the MoDem, LREM and LR, including four from the Bouches-du-Rhône, this amendment was adopted yesterday, Thursday, November 14, 2019, during the examination of the finance bill for 2020.

The measure, which must still be adopted by the Senate, would cancel a decision endorsed in late 2018 by MPs In March, and against the advice of the government, via a subamendment tabled in the draft budget 2019. This The latter stipulated that palm oil products are not considered as biofuels. As a result, as of 2020, the elimination of the tax advantage linked to the incorporation of vegetable substances (beet, rapeseed, sunflower, etc.) into fossil fuels. And therefore, a submission to the TGAP plus-general tax on polluting activities.

Total’s lobbying denounced

To explain this controversial change, some point to the intensive lobbying led by Total to the French political class. Removing palm oil The list of biofuels means for the oil giant the loss of a large tax rebate, and therefore, according to Total, a threat to the profitability of its new bio-refinery La Mède, located near of Marseille, in the Bouches-du-Rhône, whose supply is nearly 70% via vegetal oils.

The French group had estimated that the removal of this tax gift would plague the accounts of its site from 70 to 80 million euros per year and hinted that the 250 jobs could be threatened. Patrick Pouyanne had said that the company he directed was not intended “to run plants at a loss,” suggesting an export of the production of La Mede to Germany. This did not frighten the constitutional council, which last month rejected the company’s appeal against the end of the tax benefit.

The adoption of this amendment is making a lot of noise today. So much so that members of the majority and the opposition demand a new ballot.

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