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Pressure Stepped Up Against EU Crop-Based Biofuels plans

16 October 2012

EU - Copa-Cogeca, together with key EU biofuel industry organisations, stepped up pressure against the EU Commission plans to impose iluc factors and a five per cent limit on the use of crop-based biofuels, warning the fundamental change in EU biofuel policy will have a serious impact on the bioeconomy, employment and future investments in biofuels.

In a joint letter sent to the EU Commission, leading representatives from the EU biofuel industry argued that a fundamental change in European biofuels policy will cause a dramatic loss of trust in EU decision-making and seriously undermine future investments in the EU biofuel sector and bioeconomy in general.

“Without a stable policy framework, no future investments in advanced biofuels in Europe are to be expected”, they warned.

The European Biofuels industry has made investments that amount to €14 billion and is estimated to provide direct jobs to 100.000 European citizens.

They also insisted that the combined impact of the EU Commission will prevent the EU from reaching its 2020 targets, particularly under the Fuel Quality Directive and will undermine investors confidence in EU policy.

They questioned the accuracy and reliability of the Commissions impact assessment on this.

Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen stressed: “Any proposal must provide investment confidence and ensure that the 2020 targets under existing policies are not jeopardised. We urge the Commission to revise the proposal and the impact assessment. Otherwise, the EU strategy in favour of the biobased economy is going to collapse”, he said.

Copa-Cogeca believes biofuels offer many advantages in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy dependency, providing employment in EU rural areas. The bi-products produced according to strict certification rules relieve land pressures in non-EU countries to produce soy bean and helps to combat deforestation of tropical rainforests. Moreover, two per cent of EU arable land are not farmed since 2006 and less than three per cent of EU arable land is used in EU biofuel production. The proposals are set be officially released on October 17.

TheCropSite News Desk

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