Professor Bob Watson, Chief Scientific Advisor to DEFRA, has criticised the EU’s plans to introduce compulsory quotas for the use of biofuels in petrol and diesel, before research has delivered a better understanding of their impact on the environment. Under the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation, to come into force next week on 1 April, all petrol and diesel must contain 2.5% biofuels. Britain must implement this quota in order to comply with its share of a 2003 EU Directive that 5.75% petrol and diesel must come from renewable sources by 2010.
The EU plans to raise the compulsory biofuels quota so that 10% of petrol and diesel should come from biofuels by 2020.
The Government has commissioned the Renewable Fuels Agency to undertake a review of the indirect impacts of biofuel production, on greenhouse gas emissions and food security. The initial report is expected in June.