The European Union should introduce a single certification scheme for palm oil entering the EU market and phase out the use of vegetable oils that drive deforestation by 2020 to counter the impact of unsustainable palm oil production, such as deforestation and habitat degradation, particularly in South-East Asia. This is what said MEPs in a resolution voted last week.
A draft law to cap the production of traditional biofuels and accelerate the shift to alternative sources, such as seaweed and waste, was approved by the Environment Committee on Tuesday. It aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that result from the growing use of agricultural land to produce biofuel crops.
The European Parliament called for a cap on the use of traditional biofuels and a speedy switchover to new biofuels from alternative sources such as seaweed and waste, in a vote on draft legislation yesterday. So called “first-generation” biofuels – from food crops – should not exceed 6% of fuel used in transport by 2020, amending the target from 10%.The measures aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that result from the increasing turnover of agricultural land to biofuel production.
New proposals which aim to limit the percentage of biofuels that can be used in transport fuels continue to divide opinion among European policymakers and stakeholders.
The fuel quality directive and renewable energy directive proposal, adopted by parliament’s environment committee, include new rules that take into consideration the impacts of producing biofuel crops.
The European Parliament’s environment committee voted last Thursday in favor of limiting the share of food-based biofuel used in cars and trucks to 5.5% of total consumption. It said the change would address concerns that biofuels of this kind are raising food prices and may not be as environmentally beneficial as originally hoped. However, it means that to meet its 2020 mandate that 10% of Europe’s transport energy comes from renewable sources, the bloc will be relying on a much-faster expansion of electric cars and commercially unproven biofuels made from nonfood crops.