MEPs today voted in favour of a 6% cap on the amount of crops that can be used to generate energy for transport and in favour of taking indirect land use change (ILUC) factors into account, but postponed a final vote on biofuels until further deliberations.
The leader of the Lib Dem MEPs and European energy spokesperson, Fiona Hall, commented after the vote:
“Indirect land use change (ILUC) needs to be taken into account when evaluating biofuels and their potential to decarbonise the transport sector. The European Parliament signalled today that from 2020 crop-specific ILUC will indeed be factored into the calculations in the Fuel Quality Directive.
“A cap is necessary to prevent unlimited expansion of crop-based biofuels, which can conflict with food production. Setting the cap at 6% will give the industry a fair chance to adapt to policy changes, whilst a sub-target of 2.5% will incentivise investments into advanced ‘second-generation’ biofuel.
“Different kinds of biofuel have different social and environmental impacts. In the UK, in particular, there are some highly efficient and sustainable bioethanol plants. These will benefit from a separate 7.5% target for bioethanol.
“However, I am disappointed that MEPs voted to go to a second reading in the European Parliament rather than start immediate negotiations with the Council. This runs the risk of delaying any final decision until after the next European Elections.”