Industry reacts to biofuel cuts plan
THE industry has been reacting to EU proposals to limit the global development of biofuels.
The NFU said the move was ‘staggeringly short sighted’, and demonstrated a failure to address the important issue of greenhouse gases (GHG).
NFU chief combinable crops adviser Guy Gagen said: “Incredibly, Oxfam and some green and development NGOs continue their involvement as interesting bedfellows with OPEC, oil and food multinationals and numerous climate change deniers by joining their chorus for an end to biofuel production.
“We have identified unexplained contradictions in many of these calls, especially when Europe imports around 84 per cent of its crude oil from abroad and the same NGOs demand an end to EU grain exports or drive direct land use change here while ignoring its indirect impact overseas.”
Mr Gagen said that at a time when fossil fuels costs are high, the cost of increasing dependency on fuel imports by removing biofuel mandates would be ‘both financially and environmentally damaging’.
But biofuels critics welcomed the European Commission’s plans.
Chief executive of the British Poultry Council (BPC), Peter Bradnock, said: “The wasteful use of food crops for biofuels instead of farming has a direct impact on food prices and already hard-pressed consumers.
“The BPC and its international partners has been calling on politicians worldwide to step in. It isn’t fair to ask low-income families without cars to pay more for food while subsidising biofuels.”
Mr Bradnock said politicians in the UK and EU must also ‘fight against the disastrous CAP reform proposals to take good agricultural land out of crop production when what the world needs is more not less food capacity’.
Friends of the Earth (FOTE) said the move was a step in the right direction but did not go far enough.
FOTE campaigner Kenneth Richter added: “Current EU proposals are a mess and fail to stop the production of those biofuels that create more climate-changing emissions than the petrol and diesel they are meant to replace.
“Damaging EU targets for biofuel-use in our cars must be scrapped - and replaced with policies that encourage cleaner vehicles that use less fuel and better public transport.”