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MEPs back renewable energy and sustainable biofuels

September 12, 2008 4:53 PM

The European Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy committee has backed measures to ensure that 20% of energy comes from renewable sources by 2020, with 10% of transport fuel from renewables by 2010.

But in response to concerns that biofuels could compete with food production, MEPs voted to qualify the transport target. They insisted that 4% of the 10% - and possibly more after a review - must be met from advanced technology sources such as electricity, hydrogen, and newer biofuels produced from low value crops, waste and biomass. They also inserted a provision that energy use in transport must be reduced by one-fifth.

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford, who recently met local Friends of the Earth campaigners and received Londoners' postcards about the risks of EU biofuels targets, said:

"European Liberal Democrats have been instrumental in addressing the worries about biofuels raising the cost of food, and ensuring that the Renewable Energy directive encourages advanced technology in transport and strong sustainability criteria for biofuels."

"This result is a sensible response to fears for the environment and food shortages. It presents ambitious targets but takes into account the differing circumstances of each member state as well as understandable concerns about biofuels."