MEPs Split ahead of Vote on Biofuel Targets
by Dave Keating (European Voice) Members of the European Parliament are scheduled to vote next week in Strasbourg on a controversial proposal to limit the amount of conventional biofuel that can be used to meet an EU target for transport fuel.
The proposal is a response to growing concern over indirect land use change (ILUC), which can mean that the cultivation of biofuel causes more emissions than it abates. There is also concern about biofuel crops displacing food production.
The European Commission’s approach, proposed in late 2012, would specify that only half of the EU’s target of 10% of transport fuel from renewable sources could be met by so-called ‘first generation’ biofuel suspected of causing ILUC. It would also force fuel companies to measure the amount of ILUC that their fuel causes, as part of fuel quality standards, though these would be for informational purposes only.
During a meeting of group leaders today (5 September), some centre-right MEPs will suggest that the vote be delayed until October because of reports published in the past few weeks.
In July, the Parliament’s environment committee backed the Commission’s proposal, but a more sceptical reception is expected in the full plenary. MEPs are likely to vote to raise the limit for first-generation biofuel from the proposed 5% to around 7%, according to Parliament officials. They may also vote to remove the ILUC reporting requirement from the fuel quality directive. READ MORE