Fury over calls for limits on biofuels

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EUROPEAN farm leaders reacted angrily yesterday to a proposal by the European Parliament’s environment committee to impose a 5.5 per cent limit on the use of biofuels made from arable crops by 2020.

If the proposal goes through the parliament in September, farmers fear it would threaten the future of the EU biofuel industry but would also adversely affect supplies of animal feed.

Copa-Cogeca secretary-general Pekka Pesonen said: “Farmers and industry have invested huge amounts of money in the sector, based on commitments made by the EU Institutions to ensure that 10 per cent of transport fuels come from renewable energy sources by 2020.”

He added that some operators had already made plans for 2020 and those would exceed the 5.5 per cent limit.

“The vote today calling for a 5.5 per cent limit puts an abrupt end to the development of the sector in many countries, threatening 220,000 jobs mostly in EU rural areas.