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EU Ministers Refuse Support for Biofuel Proposal

16 December 2013

EU - Copa-Cogeca has welcomed the fact that EU Energy Ministers did not support the Council Presidency proposal imposing a seven per cent limit on the use of biofuels made from arable crops and introducing indirect land use change (ILUC) factors.

The proposal, which is not backed up by science, put at risk thousands of jobs in EU rural areas as well as animal feed supplies.

Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen stressed: “Biofuels offer many advantages in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in transport, energy dependency, providing employment in EU rural areas. Farmers and industry invested a lot of money in the sector after the EU institutions agreed in 2006 to ensure that 10 per cent of transport fuels come from renewable energy sources by 202o. This proposal was totally unacceptable.

"The move threatened the EU’s energy and climate change targets, over 200, 000 jobs mostly in rural areas, and feed supplies for animals. This is because the bi-products from conventional biofuel production, such as rapeseed meal, rapeseed meal, beet pulp and dried distillers grains play a crucial role on the feed protein market and in the EU food chain, where the EU is facing an ever-increasing shortage."

"Moreover, the proposal to introduce iLUC factors for reporting in both of the EU directives is not backed up by science. The IFPRI model used is not transparent and not suitable for precisely estimating the extent of land use change and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions, due to critical data errors and important methodical problems.

"Multiple counting must also be rejected as it misleads the consumer on the true level of renewable sources. A separated target of at least two per cent must be fixed to provide an incentive to investment and development of advanced biofuels. Solely an appropriate proposal will be supported by a majority of Member States and MEPs."

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