Following mounting pressure from environmental lobby groups and growing evidence that biofuels could be more environmentally damaging than beneficial, the EU appears to be making a U-turn on policy regarding the alternative fuel.
The u-turn is in stark contrast to the British Government’s move last week to force fuel retailers to add a minimum of 2.5% biofuel to all fuels sold here.
The committee of the EU’s official advisor on green issues has called for the immediate suspension of Europe’s target to increase biofuel use to 10% of transport fuels by 2020.
The European Environment Agency export panel has also recommended that a “new, comprehensive scientific study on the environmental risks and benefits of biofuels” be undertaken.
It also said that any decisions about whether and how much the EU should increase biofuel production should be delayed until this study has been published.
The scientific committee is unlikely to favour more biofuel production in any case, issuing a statement stressing that biomass feedstock making these alternative fuels would be better utilised in heat and electricity production.
“Biofuel production based on first generation technologies does not optimally use biomass resources with regard to fossil energy saving and greenhouse gas reduction”, it said.
The panel added that there was not enough arable land in the EU to accommodate a 10% production increase.