MEPs support reduced EU biofuel target

7 July 2008

Brussels/Strasbourg, 7 July 2008 - Members of the European Parliament this evening voted for significantly reduced targets for promoting biofuels in the light of mounting evidence of their impacts on food prices, people and biodiversity, and their failure to combat climate change.

The Environment Committee of the European Parliament voting in Strasbourg agreed to reduce the proposed 10 per cent target for the use of biofuels in transport by 2020 to 4 per cent by 2015 followed by a major review. The MEPs also supported the incorporation of electric or hydrogen cars into the target to potentially reduce the use of biofuels even further.

Friends of the Earth Europe welcomes the acknowledgement by MEPs that biofuels are doing more harm than good but has renewed its call for all targets to be dropped and for tougher emission standards for new cars to be adopted, which MEPs will vote on after the summer.

Adrian Bebb, agrofuels coordinator for Friends of the Earth Europe said: "The political tide in Europe is now turning against biofuels. This vote gives a clear political signal that an expansion of biofuels is unacceptable. Politicians are waking up to the fact that using crops to feed cars is a disaster in the making for both people and nature. Biofuels are not a panacea to our energy and climate problems and we urgently need real solutions that cut greenhouse gases whilst not threatening food supplies or wildlife.

"Whilst this vote is a welcome move in the right direction the EU needs to go much further to avert the negative impacts of biofuels. All biofuel targets should be dropped and real solutions such as forcing car manufactures to produce cleaner cars introduced."