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Tuesday, 30 March 2010

EU biofuels target borderline sustainable, report finds

Going beyond a 5.6% share of biofuels in transport fuel could harm the environment, found a new report made public by the European Commission (25 March), suggesting that the EU's current target is only borderline sustainable. The report, compiled for the Commission by the International Food Policy Institute (IFPRI), concludes that indirect land-use change has "an important effect on the environmental sustainability of biofuels". Nevertheless, it argues that current EU renewable energy targets are small enough to safeguard the environmental sustainability of biofuels. The EU's Renewable Energies Directive mandates a 10% share of renewable energies in transport fuels by 2020. The report assumes that only 5.6% of this would come from first-generation biofuels. The report is the first in a series of four studies the EU executive has commissioned as a contribution to its own report on indirect land-use change caused by greenhouse gas emissions. That report, due out by the year's end, will measure the extent to which the production of first-generation biofuels contributes to emissions by replacing crops grown for food production and accelerating deforestation. It will outline measures to address the issue.

Source: Euractiv