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EurActiv.com - EU faces pressure from overseas biofuel-makers | EU - European Information on Trade & Industry

A decision by a key European Parliament committee last week to beef up sustainability criteria for agrofuels and tilt the Union's biofuel policy towards non food-based biofuels due to concerns over rising commodity prices has irritated top biofuel-exporting nations Indonesia, Malaysia and Brazil. Background:

On 23 January 2008, the Commission put forward proposals aimed at boosting the use of biofuels in transport fuels to 10% by 2020 amid growing concern over rising oil prices, energy security and climate change. 

But subsequent concerns about rising food prices and biodiversity loss as land is diverted to biofuel production, as well as questionable CO2 reduction values, led to calls for the reduction or outright rejection of the target. 

In September 2008, Parliament's Industry and Energy Committee, which has the lead on the dossier, approved a report drafted by Luxembourg Green MEP Claude Turmes, which while confirming the 10% target by 2020 specifies that at least 40% of this goal must be met from "non-food and feed-competing" second-generation biofuels or from cars running on green electricity and hydrogen (EurActiv 12/09/08). 

They also backed strict "sustainability criteria", including an obligation for biofuels to offer at least 45% carbon emission savings compared to fossil fuels and a series of social and environmental criteria.

The main bone of contention in the report adopted by the Parliament's Industry and Energy Committee on 11 September is that it would require 40% of the EU's 10% biofuel goal to be met from "non-food and feed-competing" second-generation biofuels or from green electricity and hydrogen, while also demanding that agrofuels offer at least 45% carbon emission savings compared to fossil fuels - a figure that would rise to 60% in 2015. 

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 04:10:07 PM EST
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