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EU lawmakers deal a blow to crop-based biofuels

Source:  Copyright 2013, Reuters
Date:  July 12, 2013
Byline:  Barbara Lewis
Original URL: Status ONLINE

EU efforts to limit the use of crop-based biofuels, increasingly seen as doing the planet more harm than good, won parliamentary backing on Thursday in what a top biodiesel company called "a very bad blow".

The vote in the European Parliament's environment committee will be followed by a plenary vote, expected in September. It will also require endorsement by EU member states, which are deeply divided on the issue.

Environmental campaigners said Thursday's vote marked progress towards more sustainable biofuels.

But biofuel producers and their suppliers are furious at the policy U-turn. They said the proposed limit of 5.5 percent of total transport fuel use was far too low and would lead to plant closures and job losses.

Jean-Philippe Puig, CEO of Sofiproteol, which owns the EU's largest biodiesel producer Diester Industrie, said the vote "was a very bad blow".

Earlier this month Sofiproteol said it would close two ...

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