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FW: [Stop biofuel targets] EU biofuels target 'probably a mistake, ' France says

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  • helena
    Almuth, I reckon this one should go in! Copied you in because I canĀ¹t remember how to submit stuff to biofuelwatch! Helena ... From: Veerle Dossche
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2008
      FW: [Stop biofuel targets] EU biofuels target 'probably a mistake, ' France says Almuth,

      I reckon this one should go in!

      Copied you in because I can’t remember how to submit stuff to biofuelwatch!


      ------ Forwarded Message
      From: Veerle Dossche <veerle@...>
      Date: Tue, 01 Jul 2008 10:25:42 +0200
      To: Stop Biofuel Targets <stopbiofueltargets@...>, Bio Energy Fern <bioenergy@...>
      Subject: [Stop biofuel targets] EU biofuels target 'probably a mistake, ' France says

      EU biofuels target 'probably a mistake,' France says

      EUObserver.com - LEIGH PHILLIPS

      The noose is steadily tightening around the neck of EU biofuels targets,
      with France on Monday (30 June) saying that the EU's 10 percent biofuels
      target may have to be reconsidered, in the latest attack on the
      renewable energy drive.

      "Probably we will be obliged to call into question or postpone the 10
      percent objective," said French ecology minister Nathalie
      Kosciusko-Morizet speaking to reporters in Paris, according to the
      Reuters news agency.

      She added that developing a target for the controversial fuel source was
      "probably a mistake" and that the EU had proposed things the wrong way
      round: setting environmental and social criteria for the production of
      biofuels should have been developed first and then any target should
      have been drafted to match that.

      The EU in 2007 agreed that 10 percent of all transport fuel should come
      form renewable sources such as biofuels by 2020 as part of a wider
      overhaul of its energy sector. "On biofuels, we do not rule out in the
      long-run reconsidering the target," Ms Kosciusko-Morizet said.

      With France taking over the six-month rotating presidency of the EU on
      Tuesday (1 July), the statement carries added weight, and follows on
      from a call from Italy earlier in the month for the bloc to review the

      "We took with too much haste the decision on an objective that is not
      reachable," said Italian economic development minister Claudio Scajola
      in early June. The UK as well is expected to shortly adapt its position
      on biofuels with the expected release this week of the Gallagher Report,
      a review of Britain's biofuels policies.

      Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the working group set up by the European
      Commission and EU member states to consider how to develop environmental
      and social criteria on biofuel production and imports is close to
      agreement on a set of standards.

      Quoting the Slovenian diplomat appointed to chair the group's
      discussions, Miran Kresal, the news agency says the group is likely to
      include language preventing the use of biofuels grown in habitats of
      endangered species, or biodiverse savannahs and grasslands, as well as
      land whose use has resulted in significant net emissions of carbon dioxide.

      Legally binding labour standards were ruled out by the group due to
      concerns that such a move would not pass muster with the World Trade
      Organisation. Instead, the group will be looking to task the European
      Commission with the job of strict monitoring of social standards.

      The key concern of environmentalists - the amount of CO2 emitted – who
      in the last year have moved from being supporters of biofuels to
      campaigning against their use, remains a source of contention within the
      working group, however.

      *Biofuels and food prices*

      The group has not developed any criteria relating to the possible effect
      of biofuels on food prices.

      While the European Commission has repeatedly argued biofuels policies
      have had a negligible impact on food costs, the UN Food and Agriculture
      organisation says that biofuels explain 10 percent of recent price rises.

      The International Monetary Fund puts this figure at 30, a figure backed
      by the International Food Policy Research Institute. The World Bank,
      however, says that biofuels have contributed to 65 percent of the price

      Dragan Barbutovski, a spokesperson for the Slovenian presidency of the
      EU, told EUobserver "The working group was set up long before the food
      crisis was high on the EU's agenda."

      "As such it only ever had a mandate to assess potential sustainability
      criteria for the fuel quality directive and the renewable energy
      directive," he added.


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