EU Biofuel Policy: Environmental Implications

A new report published by Birdlife International suggests that EU’s biofuel policy could lead to global environmental harm.

The proposed legislation states that 10% of all fuels will be biofuels by 2020. The Commission proposal fails to consider the indirect impacts of biofuel production, including an increased use of European oil-seed rape driving demand for South-East Asian palm oil and soya expansion in the amazon resulting from US corn ethanol subsidies. Set-aside schemes (i.e. areas of farmland excluded from agricultural activities) will come under pressure from the Commission proposal. Wildlife that has thus far benefited from set-aside schemes and could be at risk, include corn marigold, insects such as the white-tailed bumblebee, as well as the brown hare and the lapwing.

BirdLife International has called upon EU decision makers to
drop the 10% biofuel target, and made a series of recommendations.

Do BES members and blog readers believe that this legislation should be introduced? Are the recommendations and calls to EU decision makers in the report realistic/enforceable?

The BES welcomes comment and debate on this article.