European Union energy chiefs failed today to limit the quantities of 'food based' biofuels allowed in Europe in a key debate in Brussels. The outcome means that plans to prevent biofuels competing with food will be further delayed, pushing more people into hunger and leading to further deforestation.
Civil society organisations today blamed governments at the Committee on World Food Security for defending the biofuels industry rather than the people pushed into hunger by biofuels policies.
The burning of biofuels in Europe will continue to increase and cause food price hikes and climate emissions after the European Parliament today failed to vote for tougher restrictions on their use.
In a vote in Strasbourg on legislation to limit the quantities of 'food based' biofuels in renewable energy transport targets MEPs voted to introduce a limit on biofuels that compete with food for land and water at 6% of transport energy – representing an increase from the current level of 4.5%.
Europe’s drivers are being forced to fill their tanks with increasing amounts of rainforest-destroying palm oil, with reliance on the controversial biofuel set to rise even further, new figures released today show. According to the data, palm oil use has increased much more than predicted and is now at 20% of the biodiesel mix.
The European Parliament's environment committee voted today on legislation to limit the quantities of 'food based' biofuels in renewable energy transport targets for Europe.
MEPs voted with a 60% majority to:
Growing crops for biofuels would lead to less food being produced, forcing more people into hunger, finds a new analysis commissioned by Friends of the Earth Europe and released today.  The revelation comes as the environment committee of the European Parliament faces a crucial vote on biofuels on Thursday (July 11).
European banks, pension funds and private equity funds have given financial assistance worth more than €450 million to Malaysian palm oil giant Sime Darby, responsible for environmental degradation and violations of national regulations in Liberia, according to new research from Friends of the Earth Europe .
Reforms to Europe's rules on biofuels were top of the agenda at a meeting of EU energy ministers in Brussels today.
It was the first time ministers commented on proposals to limit the quantities of crop-based biofuels that can count towards EU renewable energy targets.  The policy was proposed by the European Commission last year as a means to address so-called 'indirect land use change' (ILUC) where agriculture has to expand to accommodate biofuels demand. 
Cape Town/Brussels - Biofuels have driven nearly 300 large-scale land grabs worldwide, a new report by GRAIN reveals today , on the eve of a meeting of EU energy ministers to debate the future of biofuels in Europe. 
EU targets have put Europe at the forefront of increasing global demand for environmentally and socially damaging biofuels – demand which has prompted some 17 million hectares, equal to almost the entire agricultural area of Germany, to be grabbed from local populations over the past decade, says GRAIN.
The European Commission last Friday approved a certification scheme which would brand biofuels produced from palm oil as 'sustainable', despite evidence that their production contributes to deforestation, peatland degradation, disputes over land rights, and climate change.Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth Europe argue that legitimising the use of palm oil biofuels by approving the scheme by the Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is inconsistent with the Commission's own analysis pu