Knowledge for better food systems

Update: Biofuels and EU Policy Development

In our 24th September Newsletter, we mentioned that the EU is considering plans to limit crop-based biofuels to 5% of transport fuel. Biofuels have been promoted in recent years, largely because of the belief that they will help reduce transport’s impact on the environment, and particularly because of its contribution to climate change. But the indirect effects of growing crops to make fuel have seriously challenged these assumptions.  

Studies examining the indirect effects of biofuels can be found on the FCRN website here.

However, the European farming organization, Copa-Cogeca, recently released a press release saying that the move was “totally unacceptable” and would threaten feed supplies for animals, employment and green growth in rural areas across the EU. But European NGO, Transport and Environment (T&E), and Friends of the Earth both say the proposals put forward by the Commission do not go far enough.

For the European Commission’s proposal for biofuels, click here.

To access Copa-Cogeca’s press release, click here.

For T&E’s response, click here. For Friends of the Earth’s press release, click here.

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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