8 Juli 2013

New report: EU biofuel proposal a futile effort to curb productive land use in Asia

ILUC reporting requirements to add new obstacles to imports from non-European biofuel producers

The European Parliament is set to vote on a proposal that adds additional burdens for renewable fuels being exported to Europe under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). The proposed new requirement to report or calculate additional carbon emissions is a vain attempt to regulate land use outside Europe. Even modelling produced for the European Commission itself demonstrated that the proposed policy would have no significant impact.

A recent report by World Growth shows how the burdensome ILUC reporting requirements will simply add new obstacles to imports from non-European biofuel producers.

According to World Growth Chairman, Ambassador Alan Oxley, the proposed EU policy is “the result of a political compromise between the Commission and the Parliament over an attempt by the latter to curb productive use of forested lands in developing countries.”

“Environmental activists argue that expansion of farm land and plantations on forest land indirectly causes more emissions of greenhouse gases. The European Commission officials know that no scientific methodology has been able to measure this, despite numerous attempts.”

“Yet the European Parliament has bowed to activists and will vote to require imported renewable fuels to demonstrate what emissions have been indirectly produced, in full knowledge there is no standard way of measuring these so-called indirect emissions” explained Ambassador Oxley.

MEPs on the Industry & Energy Committee understand this, said Ambassador Oxley. They blasted the Commission proposal, arguing that “a reliable model for measuring ILUC must be found before including it in legislation” and that “contrary to the Commission proposal, no mention of the ILUC factor should be included in the Directives, not even for a reporting obligation.”

“There is clearly an assumption among some MEPs on the Environment Committee that Europe’s consumption of biofuels will encourage farmers outside Europe to switch from producing food to producing biofuel feedstocks” said Ambassador Oxley.

He said World Growth research shows this assumption is false: Energy crops are only a marginal proportion of total agricultural production. Even the modelling done for the Commission demonstrated that at current levels of production and European demand, ILUC impacts from biofuels are too small to have a significant impact.

Read the new World Growth report here

Source: World Growth, press release, 2013-07-08.


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