Sunday, May 24, 2015

EU caps biofuels from food crops

Ten years of debate in the European Union over the detrimental effects of the demand for biofuels for transport on food prices, hunger, forest destruction, land consumption and climate change have come to an end.

The European Parliament has finally agreed new E.U. laws to cap the use of crop-based biofuels at seven per cent of transportation energy.

Europe the world’s biggest user and importer of biodiesel – from crops such as palm oil, soy and rapeseed (canola).

InterPress Service says the vote is expected to have a major impact around the world, notably in the European Union’s main international supplier countries Indonesia, Malaysia and Argentina.

It is likely to signal the end to the expanding use of food crops for transport fuel.

That would put short-term downward pressure on crop prices.

“Let no-one be in doubt,” said Robbie Blake, Friends of the Earth Europe’s biofuels campaigner, “the biofuels bubble has burst.

“These fuels do more harm than good for people, the environment and the climate.

“The EU’s long-awaited move to put the brakes on biofuels is a clear signal to the rest of the world that this is a false solution to the climate crisis.

“This must spark the end of burning food for fuel,” he said.

But in the United States, hefty political contributions by Archer, Daniel Midlands and other biofuels producers is likely to hold more sway in Washington than the European cap.