Oxfam reaction: MEPs' biofuel compromise is not enough to tackle hunger in poor countries

Posted by Georgette Thomas Oxfam Media officer, Oxford, UK

11th Sep 2013

Today the European Parliament voted to cap the share of biofuels made from food crops at 6 per cent of the EU's energy demand in transport by 2020

In reaction, Tracy Carty, Oxfam policy advisor said;

"MEP's are guilty of neglecting the needs of both people and the planet by agreeing an anaemic compromise to cap the share of biofuels made from food crops at 6% which is far above current levels of consumption and higher than the level initially proposed by the European Commission.

"In their efforts to appease the biofuels industry and agricultural lobbyists, MEPs have failed in their duty - representing neither the best interests of their electorate nor the one in eight people in the world who go to bed hungry each night. If this cap is adopted it would allow entirely preventable hunger, land grabbing and environmental devastation to continue.

"It is vital that the UK now pushes for the European Council to adopt a tougher limit that will reduce the harm done to hungry people by EU biofuels consumption. The UK government should champion a cap on biofuels that compete with food of no more than 5 per cent and crucially push for agreement to eventually phase out their use."

Contact: gthomas@oxfam.org.uk Mobile: +44 (0)7824 503108

Notes to Editors

In October last year, the European Commission proposed amending the EU's Renewable Energy Directive by introducing a 5% limit for counting food crop-based biofuels towards the 10% target for renewable energy in transport fuels by 2020, improving sustainability criteria and promoting the use of advanced biofuels.

The European Parliament has voted today to cap the share of biofuels made from food crops at 6% of the EU's energy demand in transport by 2020. As a result of fierce industry lobbying even today's compromised vote was passed by only a very small margin, despite obvious support from a large number of MEPs and European citizens to stop using food for fuel. EU member states will adopt their common position on the EU's biofuels reform in the coming months.

Blog post written by Georgette Thomas

Oxfam Media officer, Oxford, UK

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