Tuesday, 8 July 2008

EU moves to cut back target on biofuel use

BRUSSELS: Signaling a major retrenchment, European Union legislators on Monday proposed ratcheting back an ambitious target to raise Europe's use of biofuels.
At the same time, a new report for the British government cast fresh doubt on using fuels from crops in the fight against climate change.
Until recently, European governments had sought to lead the rest of the world, setting a target for 10 percent of transportation fuels to be derived from biofuels by 2020. But the allure has dimmed amid growing evidence that the kind of targets proposed by the EU are contributing to deforestation and helping force up food prices.
"I think when we will look back we will say this was the beginning of a turning point for Europe on biofuels," said Juan Delgado, a research fellow specializing in energy and climate change expert at Breugel, a research organization in Brussels. "It will be very difficult now for Europe to stick by its targets."
In the United States, an energy bill passed last year required that 36 billion gallons of biofuels be produced annually by 2022. But criticism is gaining ground there, too, with calls to end tax breaks for corn ethanol and other measures to stop so much American corn - about one-fourth of the crop - being used for biofuels.



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