Interview with Ewald-Marco Muenzer, President of EWABA

April 2023

Interview EWABA: “There is no silver bullet to decarbonize the whole of transport. All sustainable technologies will play their part in reaching the Net Zero goal.”

The 1st European B+ Summit is getting closer, bringing top speakers to Lisbon between April 26 and 28. Discover more about the first edition of this international event with Ewald-Marco Muenzer, EWABA President, one of the three B+ Summit promoters, and CEO of Muenzer Bioindustrie.

1. What were the reasons behind the organization of the 1st European B+ Summit?

Due to the ongoing discussion on the revision of CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles and the role of higher biodiesel blends (B+), we decided to host this conference together with our Portuguese member ABA and EBB. The summit will provide a privileged opportunity to meet and network with like-minded players and will so create a productive debate on the Large-scale decarbonization of Heavy-Duty Vehicles through higher biodiesel blends. International speakers will address key issues affecting the European market, the low market incentives seen across the EU as well as best case studies for the promotion of high biodiesel blends. Our objective is to showcase the importance that waste-based and advanced biodiesel could have for the decarbonisation of the transport sector, especially for difficult to decarbonise sectors like the HDV sector.

2. Why choose Portugal to host this first edition?

Apart from a beautiful country, Portugal is one of the best examples of a circular   economy in Europe, and beyond. The country has focused a lot on waste collection, recovery and re-use of previously unused feedstocks into renewable fuels. A lot of companies have started operations in Portugal because of more favourable legislation towards waste-based and advanced biofuels, most of them part of the EWABA and ABA network. Even so, a regulatory framework with strong financial incentives in place is missing and we would like to this conference to address this on a national and of course an international scale.

3. In your vision, how important is it that European countries and  associations get together to push the Energetic Transition in transport?

As the transport sector electrifies, it is merging with the energy network. And there is strong potential to decarbonise some kinds of transport, such as heavy-duty transport or buses, faster than others. The energy transition aims to reduce energy-related greenhouse gas emissions through various forms of decarbonization. Higher blends can be realized today without a need for significant engine or fuel infrastructure modifications and would save billions of tons CO2 in the coming decades. There is no silver bullet to decarbonize the whole of transport neither sub-sectors like aviation, maritime and road. All sustainable technologies will play their part in reaching the Net Zero goal. Sustainable waste-derived biodiesel made from otherwise discarded oils and residues can get us there faster.

4. By the end of the conference, what changes do you hope you have achieved?

In order to achieve the best possible decarbonisation level of the transport sector, feedstocks with limited availability must be used in the most efficient way ensuring a win-win situation for all transport modes and EU citizens. We hope this Summit will spark discussions about technology neutrality, cost-efficiency, level playing field across transport sectors, support to SMEs and best available decarbonisation tools used in the most efficient way.

We would be happy to achieve a common sense of working towards a regulatory framework which ensures a fair use of waste lipid feedstocks across aviation, maritime and road transport sectors. We support the usage of higher blends in every sector as much as technically possible to achieve a higher decarbonization, but we are also wary that competition between sectors, if not managed effectively, could limit our decarbonisation potential or even lead to a rise in transport emissions if taken holistically. As an industry fighting for over 15 years to collect, recover and reuse wastes and residues we would like to see transport on a clear decarbonisation path that supports innovation, the growth of green technologies and continuous energy efficiency and optimisation, and the policy framework should embrace that vision.

The B+ Summit conference will gather top entities and speakers to discuss the future of heavy-duty mobility in the road of sustainability. Check the full agenda and reserve your spot.

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