Europe can continue burning food to fuel cars and trucks in the EU, the European Parliament voted today. In the vote on the reform of the Renewable Energy Directive for 2030, MEPs supported rules that would allow member states to force-feed car drivers with biofuels made from food-crops at current levels until 2030.
European energy ministers meeting in Brussels today agreed European drivers should be obliged to burn massive quantities of food crops in their fuel tanks until 2030. Anti-poverty organisation Oxfam and green group Transport & Environment (T&E) deplored this policy that would only benefit the biofuels industry and contribute to hunger and environmental damage.
A proposal by the European Parliament’s industry committee on the use of biofuels risks increasing emissions in transport, pushing up global food prices and negatively impacting people around the world who live from the land, Oxfam and green NGO Transport & Environment warn.
In a key committee vote on the reform of the EU bioenergy policy, the European Parliament has improved the reform proposal, but Oxfam says it does not do enough to end the EU's bioenergy policy's destructive effects on the climate and on people worldwide.
In its proposed new Renewable Energy Directive, the European Commission has given in to the pressure of the biofuel industry lobby at the expense of people and the climate. The proposal would allow EU countries to rely on food-based biofuels to meet their 2030 climate and energy targets, notwithstanding strong evidence of their harmful impact on communities and the environment.
The European Union must overhaul its current bioenergy policy, which is based on getting fuel from plants, because the industry is linked to the eviction of thousands of people from their lands, out-competing food crops, and creating more not less pollution, says Oxfam in a new report.
There is overwhelming evidence of the harm caused by the European Union’s current bioenergy policy to people in developing countries, to the climate and to Europe’s own sustainable development. This briefing follows the trail of destruction left by the policy on three continents.
This paper focuses on concerns related to the EU’s growing bioenergy use, which is being driven by EU climate and energy policies. It focuses on the practicalities of implementing sustainability safeguards in all energy uses of biomass, including electricity, heating and transport.
Today MEPs voted to introduce a seven percent cap on food-based biofuels and to include carbon emissions from land use change in environmental assessments.
European Governments are increasingly relying on bioenergy as a cheap way to meet targets for renewable energy. Bioenergy represented 62% of EU’s renewable energy use in 2012. But new evidence on the real climate impacts and other environmental and social impacts of bioenergy has made its use increasingly controversial.