EU Backing Off BioFuel Over Environmental Concerns
European policymakers are beginning to understand what conservationists have been saying for years, that biofuels are hard on the environment. The EU announced that their previous decision to replace 2% of the current petroleum for transport with biofuels by 2020 might need to be revised because of the impact of large scale biofuel production on agriculture, especially in third world countries.
According to a report drafted to advise EU policy makers, "The simulated effects of EU biofuels policies imply a considerable shock to agricultural commodity markets." The draft report also noted that dependence on bio-fuels "...carries the risk of significant and hardly reversible environmental damages."
Guenther Oettinger, the European Energy Commissioner, is aware of the concerns, according to a spokeswoman from his office. "There is no definitive and official answer on the size or character of this issue at this stage," she remarked. An agriculture official sent a letter to the commissioner warning that "...biofuels could 'kill' an EU industry worth about 5 billion euros a year ($6.8 billion)." Bioethanol lobbyists from ebio are demanding that the concept be rejected.