EU Commissioners U-Turn on Crop-based biofuels

The European Commission has confirmed it will limit the amount of crop-based biofuels used in transport in what amounts to a major U-turn on its previous policy.

  • The EU’s target of producing 10 per cent of transport energy from renewable sources by the end of the decade was likely to be met primarily through biofuels derived from wheat or rapeseed.
  • Campaigners had argued that biofuels could actually increase emissions and remove agricultural land from food production, pushing up the price of staples for some of the world’s poorest people.
  • The commissioners’ statement outlined their “clear preference is biofuels produced from non-food feedstocks, like waste or agricultural residues such as straw,” which are known as second generation or cellulosic biofuels.

The plans are expected to be published in October and would have to be approved by the European Parliament and member states, who would have to agree to effectively jettison the 10 per cent target, given production of cellulosic biofuels is still well below the volumes needed to make up the shortfall.

EU Pressroom

ECOS Environmental Consultants Limited