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The European Commission’s proposal to limit the use of biofuels in transport has drawn heated reactions from farmers who have warned about the effects on jobs and the economy.
As part of the proposed Renewable Energy Directive review, the EU executive introduced a cap on the contribution of conventional biofuels to transport from a maximum of 7% in 2021 to 3.8% in 2030.
The executive also set an obligation to raise the share of other “low emissions fuels” such as renewable electricity and advanced biofuels in transport to 6.8%.
The biofuels industry and farmers have reacted strongly to this proposal, claiming it is an “unfounded” policy.
Now the Commission’s proposal is the hands of the European Parliament and many MEPs have already started seeing it critically.
This Special Report will focus on the proposal’s implications on rural development, animal feed production and investor confidence as well as trade and investment effects.
Biofuels in the EU are deeply intertwined with global food and feed markets. As the EU discusses its future biofuels policy, their contribution to the bloc's animal feed supply and impact on food prices have emerged as major battlegrounds between supporters and critics.
Biofuels have emerged as a make-or-break issue in the EU's negotiations with South American trading bloc Mercosur, and EU farmers fear they will be left to fend off stronger competition in a shrinking market.
If the EU intends to meet its climate obligations under the Paris Agreement, then it should favour both “sustainable” biofuels and electric cars in post-2020 transport, MEP Seán Kelly told EURACTIV in an interview.
Sustainability criteria are needed to make a clear distinction between “bad” biofuels like palm oil and “good” ones like some ethanol, MEP Bas Eickhout told EURACTIV in an interview.
Talks over how to decarbonise the EU's transport fleet are heating up. As policymakers prepare the bloc's renewable energy targets for 2030, part of the debate has crystallised around the role of biofuels. And farmers are getting increasingly vocal.