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MEP's Vote to Measure Biofuel Emissions from 2020

03 December 2013
NNFCC

EU - European Parliament Approves proposals to measure indirect emissions from biofuels production and cap levels of crop-based emissions.

A vote in the European Parliament today, approved the capping of production of food crop-based biofuels at six per cent and backed plans to measure indirect emissions from 2020.

MEPs confirmed that fuel from food crops such as wheat, corn or sugar cannot contribute more than 6% towards the EU’s 2020 goal of 10 per cent of transport energy coming from renewable sources. They also backed the 2.5 per cent share for advanced biofuels which are produced from feedstocks such as algae and waste.

The six per cent limit, which is higher than current levels, will be welcomed by producers, who want the industry to have room to grow, and attract further investment. Lobbying from Germany and France, both big biofuel producers, are thought to have swayed the vote in favour of waiting until 2020 to include ILUC factors in the EU’s targets.

MEPs also voted by only one vote against starting negotiations with the European Council, so the legislation must now go to a second reading, therefore, progress is unlikely to be made until after European Parliament elections in May 2014.

Environmental campaigners, who had been hoping from a lower cap, believe expansion of the European biofuels industry is displacing food production in developing countries and forcing up the price of food and causing the clearance of rainforests.

Green climate spokesperson Bas Eickhout said in a statement: "Ensuring that the emissions resulting from indirect land use change are accounted for under the fuel quality directive from 2020 onwards will help ensure the EU is not promoting the use of biofuels that clearly have a negative climate impact."

He added, "This would help steer investors and the fuel industry away from bad biofuels in the medium-term."

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