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European Biofuels Industry United Against EU ILUC Proposals

24 April 2013

EU - Five industry associations from across the EU have agreed a joint position paper opposed to the European Commission’s proposals on indirect land use change (ILUC). The European Parliament’s Industry Committee (ITRE) will be discussing its Draft Opinion in response to the proposals today (24 April).

The paper, endorsed by industry associations in Germany, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the UK, argues that the Commission’s proposals to account for carbon emissions from ILUC in the biofuels industry are based on unsound science.

The proposals would put at risk hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of investments, both committed and future, as well as jeopardising UK and European climate change and renewable energy targets.

Clare Wenner, Head of Renewable Transport at the REA, said: “We welcome the contribution of the ITRE Committee to the ILUC debate, and many of its proposed amendments are broadly in line with the measures we recommend in our joint position paper. We urge the Committee to do all it can to bring these amendments into the European Parliament’s final position.

“The Commission’s proposals on indirect land use change are based on unsound science and emotive NGO campaigning on food prices rather than real world facts and data. In their current form, these proposals risk jeopardising billions of pounds of investment and the hundreds of thousands of jobs that go with that across the whole supply chain.”

The European industry’s position paper makes clear that targeted measures, such as bilateral agreements on forest protection, can allow for both a healthy biofuels industry and healthy forests and peatland. It also stresses that many benefits of biofuels are often ignored in the ILUC and food and fuel debates.

The food industry benefits for example both from increased agricultural productivity driven by demand for biofuels, and from co-products of the biofuels industry (such as high protein DDGS) which can displace imports of high-carbon soy imports in animal feed.

Clare Wenner concluded: “We also urge the UK Government to take stock of both the European industry’s joint position paper and the ITRE Draft Opinion. Government must show strong leadership if it is to safeguard the UK biofuels industry, which is among the best and most sustainable in the world, but which is at risk of being stopped dead in its tracks by the ILUC proposals.”

TheCropSite News Desk

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