EU energy ministers agreed a deal on Friday to limit production of biofuels made from food crops, responding to criticism these stoke inflation and do more environmental harm than good. The ministers’ endorsement of a new compromise overcomes a stalemate hit late last year when European Union governments failed to agree on a proposed 5 percent cap on the use of biofuels based on crops such as maize or rapeseed.
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.
Food or non-food: Which agricultural feedstocks are best for industrial uses? This is the title of the new paper published by the German nova-Institut led by Michael Carus, who is one of the author, together with Lara Dammer. In less than ten pages the two authors analyze one of the most controversial issues of the bioeconomy, also underlined by the recent decision of the European Parliament’s environment committee to limit the share of food-based biofuel used in cars and trucks to 5.5% of the total consumption. Continue reading