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
Reforms announced today by the European Commission will not stop biofuels pushing up food prices and accelerating climate change, says Friends of the Earth Europe. 
The proposals include a 5% cap on crop-based biofuels, which goes some way to controlling the quantity of crops which will be used for fuel. But, this limit is still above current consumption levels and will not prevent biofuels competing with crops for food or pressurising food prices in tight markets.
Brussels, 15 October – EU chiefs must follow through with plans to slash biofuel use, Friends of the Earth Europe warned today as crucial decisions on biofuels policy reform are taken by European Commissioners in Brussels.
The warning comes on the eve of World Food Day, against the backdrop of a looming food crisis – the third in five years.
Brussels/Berlin/London, February 2, 2012 – Motorists across Europe are set to pay an additional €18 billion a year for petrol and diesel as a result of EU biofuel targets that have been shown not to reduce emissions, says new research published today .
New figures, commissioned by Friends of the Earth Europe and ActionAid , show that the planned increase in biofuels use could cost European consumers an extra €94 to €126 billion between now and 2020. This despite evidence that biofuels will actually make climate change worse and increase global hunger .
Berlin/Amsterdam/Brussels, January 12, 2012 – Lufthansa’s final flight of a controversial six-month trial of bio-fuelled flights will land today, bringing an end to a convenient smokescreen for aviation expansion, and a diversion from the real need to cut air travel in order to tackle climate change, according to Friends of the Earth Europe .
Brussels, November 17, 2011 – Increasing the use of biofuels in Europe will have devastating impacts on wildlife a new scientific assessment has shown. 
The report by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) estimates that 85 percent of biodiversity will be damaged across 17,000 square kilometres of natural habitats that risks being converted to farmland as a result of EU biofuel targets. None of this will be protected under current EU legislation for biofuels.
Brussels, July 18, 2011– The European Commission is expected to release the names of seven voluntary certification schemes tomorrow, approved to certify biofuels according to the 'sustainability criteria' set out in the Renewable Energy Directive. This follows a lawsuit filed by environmental law organisation ClientEarth, Friends of the Earth Europe (FOEE), FERN and Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) against the Commission's refusal to provide access to information regarding the approval of such schemes.
Brussels/Berlin/Hamburg, July 15, 2011 – Lufthansa launches its first controversial bio-fuelled flight today, amidst outcry from green groups . Fuelling aeroplanes with biofuels presents Lufthansa and the aviation industry with a convenient smokescreen, greenwashing their image, facilitating the airline industry's expansion plans and diverting political attention from the real need to cut air travel in order to tackle climate change .