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Parliamentary questions
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6 April 2017
E-000661/2017(ASW)
Answer given by Mr Arias Cañete on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-000661/2017

Already in 2014, the Commission indicated in its communication on the 2030 Climate and Energy policy framework that crop-based biofuels have a limited role in decarbonising the transport sector due to their impact on indirect land use change and that they should not receive public support after 2020.

Indirect land use change occurs when the cultivation of crops for biofuels displaces traditional production of crops for food and feed purposes. This additional demand increases the pressure on land and can lead to the extension of agricultural land into sensitive areas such as forests, wetlands and peat land causing massive greenhouse gas emissions eliminating the direct emission savings of crop-based biofuels.

Consequently, the proposal of the recast of the Renewable Energy Directive(1), which is now under examination in both the Council and the European Parliament, does not include any provisions providing support for this type of biofuels. Furthermore, it is proposed that the share of crop-based biofuels that could account towards the EU renewable energy target would gradually decrease to 3.8% in 2030.

Instead, the proposal focuses on promoting a shift to second-generation biofuels which do not lead to indirect land use change. Please note that this limitation by no means restricts the amount of fuels that can be produced or consumed.

The proposed gradual reduction of conventional crop-based biofuels and increase of advanced biofuels will promote the development and deployment of innovative advanced renewable fuels and at the same time provide farmers and producers of conventional crop-based biofuels with sufficient time to adjust.

(1)COM(2016) 767 final https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/1_en_act_part1_v7_1.pdf

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