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Commission proposes to minimise the climate impacts of biofuel production

15 November, 2012

The Commission on 17 October published a proposal to limit global land conversion for biofuel production, and raise the climate benefits of biofuels used in the EU. The use of food-based biofuels to meet the 10 % renewable energy target of the Renewable Energy Directive will be limited to 5 %. This is to stimulate the development of alternative, so-called second generation biofuels from non-food feedstock, like waste or straw, which emit substantially less greenhouse gases than fossil fuels and do not directly interfere with global food production.

 

For the first time, the estimated global land conversion impacts – Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) – will be considered when assessing the greenhouse gas performance of biofuels.

 

With these new measures, the Commission wants to promote biofuels that help achieving substantial emission cuts, do not directly compete with food and are more sustainable at the same time. While the current proposal does not affect the possibility for Member States to provide financial incentives for biofuels, the Commission considers that in the period after 2020 biofuels should only receive financial support if they lead to substantial greenhouse gas savings and are not produced from crops used for food and feed.

 

Source: EU Environment Policy Brief, October 2012

 

Press release