At the end of February, the European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted on the future use of biofuels. The originally intended quota of ten percent for first generation biofuels to be used in transport by 2020 is to be reduced. Biofuel from renewable resources such as sugar beet and grains is to be limited to six percent. It currently has a share of around five percent.
Second generation biofuels from leftovers and waste are to contribute at least 1.25 percent. MEPs also voted that greenhouse gas emissions caused as an indirect result of changes in land use due to the cultivation of biofuel crops must be taken into account in future assessments of the sustainability of biofuels.
Negotiations with member states pushing for higher quotas now lie ahead. The EU Committee of Professional Agricultural Organisations (COPA) and the General Committee for Agricultural Cooperation in the European Union (COGECA) have been demanding that at least eight percent of the energy consumed in transport should come from sustainable agricultural biofuels by 2020. Experts expect an agreement in May at the earliest.