Oxfam reaction: MEP vote not enough to stop EU biofuel policy fuelling hunger

Published: 11 July 2013

The stance taken today by Members of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee on the reform of EU legislation on biofuels is disappointing, Oxfam said today. The Parliament’s plenary vote is scheduled for September.

In reaction, Marc Olivier Herman, Oxfam’s EU biofuels expert, said:

“Today’s vote falls short of what is needed to put the brakes on growing European demand for biofuels, allowing an expensive and failed policy to go on fuelling hunger and land grabs in poor countries. In a world where almost 900 million people go hungry to bed every night, the support for biofuels should be phased out.”
 
“At least rapporteur Lepage managed to prevent a worst-case scenario by standing firm in the face of attempts by the biofuel industry and European farmers’ unions to further weaken Parliament’s position. Now it is up to all MEPs to resist this pressure ahead of the crucial vote in September and vote for no more food for fuel.”

Notes to editors

  • In October last year, the European Commission proposed amending the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive by introducing a 5% limit for counting food crop-based biofuels towards the 10% target for renewable energy in transport fuels by 2020, improving sustainability criteria and promoting the use of advanced biofuels.

  • The European Parliament’s Environment Committee (ENVI) is leading on the Parliament's response and today adopted a report by the French MEP Corinne Lepage MEP. The report proposes to limit the share of biofuels made from food crops to 5,5% of the EU’s energy demand in transport by 2020. Intense pressure from the biofuels industry and European farmers’ unions defending their short term interests has resulted in a significant watering down of the report. The plenary of the European Parliament will vote on the report on September 10th.

Related links

What are biofuels? What's the problem with them?

Contact Information

Angela Corbalan on + 32 (0) 473 56 22 60 or angela.corbalan@oxfaminternational.org

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