MEPs approved a compromise agreement on Tuesday (14 April) on a law limiting the use of harmful biofuels, following extensive negotiations with the Council of Ministers.

The new legislation will cap the amount of biofuels from agricultural crops used to achieve the EU’s transport targets of 10% renewable energy by 2020. “It was a very challenging file and we didn’t achieve all we wanted to achieve. There are very different capabilities and approaches between member states on advanced biofuels, some are willing to go forward more than others, as well as a very profound disagreement on ILUC factors,” said MEP Nils Torvalds (ALDE).

Unlimited use of biofuels over the years has increased food prices and deforestation, as biofuels and food crops compete for the same agricultural land.

Parliament and the Council agreed to adopt a new law to diminish harmful effects on the environment from these biofuels, and from indirect land use change (ILUC). ILUC is the unintended consequence of releasing more carbon emissions after turning forests into agricultural land in response to the increased global demand for biofuels.

“This is an important reform that will support the development of new advanced biofuels in Europe without hampering the use of climate-effective ethanol and biodiesel”, said MEP Christofer Fjellner (EPP), who is responsible for negotiations on the biofuels legislation.


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