Euro MPs vote to weaken EU biofuels target

11 September 2008

Brussels, 11 September 2008 - Members of the European Parliament voted today to scale back the EU's ambitious plans to expand the use of biofuels as a transport fuel following widespread environmental and social concerns. Friends of the Earth Europe called it a "welcome step in the right direction."

The MEPs supported proposals that would lead to 5% of transport fuels containing biofuels by the year 2015, followed by a major review into its impacts before any further increases. The proposals call for a move away from using food crops to produce transport fuels and also the encouragement of electric and hydrogen vehicles.

Adrian Bebb, Agrofuels Campaign Coordinator for Friends of the Earth Europe said: "The vote by the European Parliament recognises the serious problems associated with the large scale use of biofuels. This is a welcome step in the right direction but much still needs to be done. Using crops to feed cars is a false solution to our climate problems and could lead to irreversible loss of wildlife and misery for millions of people in the South."

MEPs also voted to increase the greenhouse gas savings from biofuels - demanding savings of at least 45%, rising to 60% by 2015, and to take into consideration indirect climate impact from converting land to grow biofuels.