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No agreement reached on biofuels reform

Energy ministers of EU Member States have failed to agree on a common position on a Commission proposal to amend directives on biofuels. The European Parliament adopted its first reading position on 11th September 2013.

The aim of the Commission’s proposed amending directive is to start a transition to biofuels that deliver substantial greenhouse gas savings when also estimated indirect land-use change emissions are reported, while existing investments should be protected.

The Lithuanian presidency proposed to cap the amount of food-based biofuels that could count towards the EU's renewable energy target for transport fuels at 7%, up from 5% under the European Commission original proposal. However, a minority of countries managed to block the compromise position. The block was made up of both countries wanting tighter limits on food-based fuels and those wanting the opposite, prompting Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard to brand them an “unholy alliance” on Twitter. Germany, Belgium and Portugal expressed concern about double-counting provisions, which would have watered down the EU’s overall 20% renewables target

The Commission’s proposal to limit the use of controversial food-based biofuels is likely to remain on hold until at least the second half of next year.

Read the Council’s Press Release HERE

Issue 30