Country

Europe

Date

12/07/2013

Entity

European Parliament

Product

Biofuels

Category

Policy

Summary

European Parliament's environment committee in favor of limiting first generation biofuels

The European Parliament's environment committee voted in favor of limiting the share of crop-based biofuel to 5.5% of total transport fuel use. The vote in the European Parliament's environment committee will be followed by a plenary vote, expected in September. It will also require endorsement by EU member states.

In 2008, the EU target was introduced to get 10 percent of transport fuel from renewable sources by 2020, most of which would come from so-called first generation biofuels made from sugar, cereals and oilseeds. Since then, studies carried out to analyse the indirect land use change (ILUC) associated to biofuels production have highlighted their potential negative impacts, in particular for biodiesel made from oil seeds, a result confirmed by a recent study from the Joint Research Center, the European Commission research body.

The proposal of the committee also makes ILUC factors (a factor to reflect the impacts of ILUC on GHG emissions of biofuels) binding from 2020 for industry (the European Commission proposal included ILUC factor but with no legal weight). In addition, Committee members also voted for extra incentives to promote advanced or second-generation biofuels. Made from waste or agricultural residues rather than food crops, these are seen as the most sustainable type of biofuel, but are still at an early stage of commercialisation.

The new rules mean that biofuels industries in countries like France, Germany or Spain, have to reduce operations, according to industry groups which argue that  the new legislation will cause Europe to turn toward more fossil fuels, since advanced biofuels aren't yet ready for mass production, and will stop investing in advanced biofuels if the EU keeps sending conflicting signals.

Read more on Reuters and The Wall Street Journal

Short Description

​European Parliament's environment committee in favor of limiting first generation biofuels

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Created at 15/07/2013 5:34 PM by NOVELLI, Philippe
Last modified at 19/07/2013 4:10 PM by Li, Lie