EU still torn over crop-based biofuels amid fear of rising food costs

The debate over biofuels risks dragging on, despite EU energy ministers reaching an agreement on the controversial crop-based fuels.

EU energy ministers agreed to a 7% cap on the fuels for use in transport, higher than the 5% originally recommended by the European Commission.

The proposal will now go to the European Parliament for a second reading, likely to take place in the Autumn, after the institutional renewal.

The EU legislature agreed last year to a 6% cap on the so-called “first generation” biofuels, which include fuels from maize, palm and rapeseed.

Poland, France, Spain, Hungary, Czech Republic, Estonia, Romania and Slovakia issued a statement on the day of the energy Council (13 June), saying that the 7% cap was at its “lowest acceptable level”, effectively ruling out negotiations with Parliament over the proposed law.

The raised cap was greeted as a victory by the biofuels industry. Rob Vierhout, the secretary general of ePure, the European renewable ethanol industry association, said in a statement, “The political agreement reached by member states on the ILUC file is welcome progress and should pave the way towards a stable policy framework that will restore investor confidence in the sustainable biofuels market.”

Read the full, original story: Biofuels debate continues, despite EU agreement

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