Alber & Geiger was approached by a US chemical company from South Carolina regarding the EU Renewable Energy Directive. The client was increasingly concerned about the diversion of tall oil away from the use in the chemicals sector towards energy production in transport. Tall oil being a pine tree residue from the paper mills is used in both these sectors. The Renewable Energy Directive provided special quotas and incentives for the use of tall oil as a feedstock in transportation fuels leading to price increases and creating distortions in the chemical sector, where tall oil was being used as a replacement for crude oil.
Alber & Geiger pushed for amendments that requested to change the Renewable Energy Directive in the sense that it would remove tall oil from the positive list that was benefiting from the EU incentives. We worked with the EU Institutions to also apply the so called cascading use principle to tall oil, meaning that any recycled substance should be used as a raw material rather than for fuel purposes. We further engaged with key lawmakers and select Member States to garner support during the legislative process.
We brought together other industry players and leading associations to form a strong coalition of like-minded players to show that the issue was beyond one single company. Through our engagement we made sure that the cascading use principle is now in the language of the Renewable Energy Directive.