A key source of biofuels within the EU - sugar beet – looks likely to meet European sustainability criteria after new research concluded the fuel had lower CO2 emissions than previously thought.
Earlier assessments from the European Commission had concluded that greenhouse gas savings compared to fossil fuels of sugar beet biofuels was just 35%.
Under amendments proposed by the European Parliament’s industry committee to planned EU sustainability rules for biofuels, they would need to generate 45% less greenhouse gas than fossil fuels – 60% by 2015.
But new research by the EU’s Joint Research Centre, automotive research association EUCAR and European oil refinery association CONCAWE has now concluded sugar beet biofuel savings are actually 52%, enabling them to be promoted for cars within the EU.
Brussels-based pressure group Transport and Environment told EU news wire EUObserver the Commission should have also considered “the far more profound impact of indirect land-use change” when assessing sugar beet environmental impact.