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Story: Uncertainty, not ILUC is holding back biofuels in Europe

October 2, 2013 - Energy | Environment | Food & Agriculture

Leading environment journalist Sonja van Renssen talks about the Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) policy proposal and its effects on biofuels production.

The European Commission proposal for an ILUC Directive, regulating the amount of land used for biofuels, surprisingly grinds to a halt in the European Parliament. Corinne Lepage, MEP and Rapporteur on ILUC, being denied the mandate to push the text up to the Council, states that ‘if Europe does not have a position by 2017/2018, there will be no investment’ in the biofuels sector. The reason is rooted in an earlier goal of 10% renewable fuels in transport, set in 2009, which effectively got the industry booming. However, Pekka Pesonen, Secretary General of Copa-Cogeca, warns that by ‘making a U-turn’ on this objective, the EU risks losing credibility in more important areas.

MEPs reached a compromise on ILUC at the September 11 Strasbourg session. More importantly, an agreement was reached on ILUC factors, or Crop specific penalties for indirect emissions, which are expected to direct more Member State subsidies to climate friendlier biofuels, but will also severely harm the biodiesel industry, which may cause issues when the proposal reaches Council.

The video features statements by: Corinne Lepage, MEP and Rapporteur on ILUC, Pekka Pesonen, Secretary General of Copa-Cogeca and Imke Lübbeke, Senior Policy Officer on Renewable Energy at WWF Europe.

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