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Biofuels Emission: Proposals Can’t Ignore Science

17 October 2012

EU - The European Commission will today publish legislative proposals on indirect land-use change (ILUC), which occurs when biofuels are grown on agricultural or pasture land, displacing food production onto previously carbon-rich land like forests.

Giuseppe Nastasi, bioenergy lawyer for ClientEarth, said: “In order for the proposals to address the ILUC impact of biofuels, greenhouse gas accounting must be introduced to ensure biofuels emissions are not higher than comparable fossil fuels emissions. The current five per cent cap on ‘biofuels from food’ should also be lowered and extended to cover biofuels from crops that directly compete with food crops for land and water.”

Questions surrounding waste and residues also need resolving; it is essential that the ILUC proposals are clear and avoid perverse incentives to incorrectly categorise biofuels as waste or residues, thereby undermining ILUC legislation. Other issues to be addressed include ILUC accounting for all energy feedstocks and a rapid phase-out of support for ILUC biofuels, not in 2020.

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