By MICHAEL HADDON
LONDON -- The European Commission, the executive arm of the
European Union, said Monday it plans to limit the use of
biofuels derived from food crops to 5% of transport fuel, in a
radical change to its biofuel policy.
The EUs climate-change commissioner Connie Hedegaard
and energy commissioner Guenther Oettinger said they wanted to
cap the share of energy in the transport sector from food
crop-based biofuels - such as rapeseed or palm oil - at current
It is wrong to
believe that we are pushing food-based biofuels, they
said in a joint statement. In our upcoming proposal for
new legislation, we do exactly the contrary: we limit them to
the current consumption level, that is 5% up to 2020.
The proposal, a draft of which was reported by Dow
Jones Newswires last week, clashes with the target of
having 10% of the energy used in transport coming from
renewable sources by 2020.
This goal was set by the EU three years ago because food
crop-based biofuels account for most biofuels available in
volumes at the moment.
New types are being developed, but are mostly at the
laboratory stage. At the same time, biofuels are expected to be
the main renewable energy source to be used in transport in
However, the Commission's message for post-2020 is
that our clear preference are biofuels produced from non-food
feedstocks, like waste or
agricultural residues such as straw, the statement
These new type of biofuels are not in competition with
food, nor do they require additional land. We are pushing
biofuels that help us cutting substantial CO2-emissions, do not
compete with food and are sustainable and green at the same
time, it added.
Dow Jones Newswires