Europe’s farm leaders have rejected European Commission (EC) plans to phase out the production of conventional biofuels from EU arable crops after 2020, citing the importance of animal feed by-products as one of the key reasons for their dislike of the new strategy.
“Conventional biofuels produced from EU arable crops not only provide the EU with environmentally-friendly transport fuels to decarbonise road transport in an inexpensive way but also ensure food security and balance within EU agricultural markets,” said Copa & Cogeca secretary-general, Pekka Pesonen.
“They also boost animal feed supplies as only a fraction of the crop is used to produce biodiesel or bioethanol with the rest being available as a protein-rich by-product used for animal feed. This is crucial for livestock producers especially in the current crisis.”
The Copa & Cogeca rejection of the 2020 move came after the launch this week of a new European strategy for low-emission mobility in which the EC proposed the progressive elimination of conventional biofuels after 2020, to be replaced by more advanced biofuels.
Copa & Cogeca argued, however, that both types of biofuel will be crucial in the future if the EU is to achieve a sustainable, low carbon economy, with the potential loss of vital animal feed supplies adding a double negative to the EC’s approach.