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EU Considering Halving Crop-Based Biofuels By 2030: Draft

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Reuters

The European Commission is considering halving the maximum amount of crop-based biofuels used in transport after 2020 over concerns they increase rather than reduce carbon emissions, according to a draft seen by Reuters.

While they reduce reliance on fossil fuels, crop-based biofuels are made from agricultural products such as sugar or rapeseed oil that could otherwise be used for human consumption or animal feed, leading to criticism that they cause indirect changes in land use.

According to the European Commission’s proposal, the maximum contribution from liquid biofuels to the EU renewable energy target should fall to 3.8 percent in 2030 from 7 percent in 2021.

At the same time, the Commission is proposing an increase in the level of so-called advanced, or second-generation, biofuels made from waste coming from agriculture or forestry industries.

An EU source close to the matter said the Commission will propose for the share of second-generation biofuels to rise to 5.5 percent by 2030 from 1.5 percent in 2021.

“A progressive reduction of food-based biofuels and their replacement by more advanced biofuels will realize the potential for decarbonizing the transport sector,” the Commission said in the draft proposal, part of a set of rules aimed at ensuring goals are met for cutting emissions by 2030.

European farmers have argued that reducing crop-based biofuels will have unwanted effects, saying they help farmers to rotate crops and reduce imports of livestock feed.

The European renewable ethanol association ePURE said the Commission’s proposal risked harming investments in second-generation biofuels.

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