EU Nears Legislation Favouring Advanced Biofuels Production

The European Parliament’s environment committee has approved a draft law to cap the production of traditional biofuels and accelerate the shift to alternative sources, such as seaweed and waste.

The EU wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that result from the growing use of agricultural land to produce biofuel crops.Current legislation requires European Union member states to ensure that renewable energy accounts for at least 10% of energy consumption in transport by 2020. But in the draft law, MEPs say that first-generation biofuels—those from food crops—should not exceed 6% of the final energy consumption in transport by 2020.

Advanced biofuels, sourced from seaweed or certain types of waste, should account for at least 1.25% of energy consumption in transport by 2020, MEPs say.

Using farmland to produce biofuel crops reduces the area available for food crops. This adds to pressure to free up more land, through deforestation, to grow more food.

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