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Given all the recent backlash, it seemed inevitable that the EU would be forced to revise its misguided biofuel targets. The final push may very well have been provided by a World Bank report concluding that biofuels may have caused global food prices to rise by up to 75 percent.
Four percent from renewable sources by 2015
In light of this, Claude Turmes, a EU lawmaker, has proposed changing the EU's target so that only 4 percent of vehicle fuels be derived from renewable sources by 2015, reports Reuters' Pete Harrison. Claiming broad parliamentary backing, Turmes said there would be a review in 2015 to decide whether to keep the 10 percent target for 2020.
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Focus on second generation biofuels and EVs
One of his proposal's major benefits is that it would require that one-fifth of the renewable sources be either advanced biofuels (i.e. cellulosic ethanol and other second-generation biofuels) or electric vehicles. The purpose of the revision, he said, was to provide an incentive for businesses and governments to invest in more energy-efficient, sustainable alternatives.
Some might argue that one-fifth isn't going far enough. After all, that means four-fifths of the renewable sources could still be derived from inefficient food crop-based sources (can you say corn ethanol?). It's still a promising start, however, and the type of rethink we hope will gain more currency -- particularly here in the U.S. -- as more lawmakers reach the inevitable conclusion that our biofuel policies, as they currently stand, are broken.
Via ::Reuters: Key EU lawmaker proposes new 2015 biofuel target (news website)
Biofuel controversy in the news
::Reconsider EU Biofuel Goal Says Incoming President
::Secret World Bank Report Says Biofuels Are Prime Cause of Food Crisis
::Biofuels Have Pushed Thirty Million People Into Poverty: Oxfam