EU seeks limit crop-based biofuels
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EU seeks to limit crop-based biofuels

4:28 AM, 18th October 2012
EU seeks to limit crop-based biofuels
Connie Hedegaard, Climate Commissioner, EU.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: The European Union wants to limit the contribution of crop-based biofuels toward renewable energy target to avoid competition with food and spur the development of clean fuels made from non-edible crops. The European Commission proposed that first-generation biofuels made from crops such as sugar, starch or vegetable oils provide 5 per cent of the EU target for transport fuel.

The current EU requirement that at least 10 per cent of energy for road and rail transport in 2020 come from renewable sources in all member nations risks causing side-effects that undermine the battle against global warming, environmental groups have said.

“We must invest in biofuels that achieve real emission cuts and do not compete with food. We are of course not closing down first-generation biofuels, but we are sending a clear signal that future increases in biofuels must come from advanced biofuels. Everything else will be unsustainable,” said Connie Hedegaard, Climate Commissioner, EU.

Biofuels, mainly first-generation, accounted for about 4.7 per cent of EU transport fuel consumption in 2010, according to the commission. The commission’s proposal would also require reporting of estimated emissions linked to indirect land-use change. Greater use of crops for biofuels would displace food production and that would threaten to spur the conversion of forest and peatland, which store carbon dioxide, into land for food crops.

While capping the production of crop-based biofuels is a step in the right direction, the failure to hold biofuel suppliers accountable for the emissions from indirect land-use change is the ‘most serious flaw’ in the commission proposal, according to Greenpeace.

© Bloomberg News  

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