Copa-Cogeca fights EU arable biofuels limits

Copa-Cogeca, the EU umbrella organisation representing farmers unions and farm co-operatives is calling on MEPs to reject plans to impose 5.5% limit on use of biofuels from arable crops. 

In a plea sent to more than 700 MEPs, the organisation called for a viable biofuels industry, warning the Euriopean Parliament’s Environment Committee plan to impose a 5.5% limit on the use of biofuels made from arable crops were totally unacceptable and must be rejected.

The plans threaten the EU’s energy and climate change targets, the future of the industry, feed supplies for animals as well as thousands of jobs mostly in rural areas. The move comes ahead of European Parliaments vote on a report by European Parliament’s Environment Committee on the European Commission proposal.

In the plea, Copa-Cogeca together with all partners in the biofuel chain, urged MEPs to reject the Environment Committee report which imposes a 5.5% limit on the use of biofuels made from arable crops in 2020 and to support the ITRE Committee amendments. This is so that Europe can continue to achieve the EU energy and climate targets, provide jobs for over 200,000 citizens and ensure adequate feed supplies for animals.

Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen insisted said the co-products from conventional biofuel production, such as rapeseed meal, beet pulp and dried distillers grains play an important role on the feed protein market and in the EU food chain, where the EU is facing an ever-increasing shortage.

“Conventional biofuel production is an efficient way to rebalance the EU’s plant protein deficit, increase the stability of the commodity markets and prices for consumers and farmers and make full use of the EU production capacity to stimulate green growth in rural area,” he added.

“For these reasons, the share of biofuels from arable crops must be increased to at least 8% and all wastes and residues must be included in the advanced biofuel target. Farmers and industry have invested a lot of money in the sector after the EU institutions agreed in 2006 to ensure that 10% of transport fuels come from renewable energy sources by 2020. I cannot accept a U-turn in their approach to reduce this limit to 5.5%.”

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