European Commission pressured by biofuels lobby, says Oxfam

European Commission pressured by biofuels lobby, says Oxfam

By agency reporter
22 Oct 2012

The European Commission has watered down draft legislation on biofuels as a result of pressure from the biofuels lobby, development agency Oxfam says.

The draft legislation published on 17 October 2012 marks a climb down from the proposal leaked a month ago, the NGO declares.

Biofuels producers will not be held accountable or forced to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions biofuels cause through the displacement of agriculture on to forested land and carbon sinks (known as Indirect Land Use Change - ILUC).

However the draft includes a five percent cap on biofuels made from food crops which sends a long overdue message to markets that all-out European support for putting food into fuel tanks is something of the past.

Commenting on the proposals Tracy Carty from Oxfam said: "The proposed five percent cap on biofuels made from food crops shows that the European Commission has finally recognised the problems that biofuels are causing through surging food prices and worsening hunger. But the cap is higher than the current levels of biofuels use and will do nothing to reduce high food prices."

She continued: "The Commission has clearly caved into the biofuels industry which is desperate to hold onto its pot of gold. Big business continues to win in the biofuels bonanza, piling up the profits on the back of poorest who are suffering increased hunger and poverty."

"The British government must up the pressure on other European member states to scrap the current targets and end all support for biofuels. With close to 900 million people going hungry every day we cannot continue diverting valuable food into fuel," concluded Ms Carty.

* More on Oxfam: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/

[Ekk/3]

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