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3 de mayo de 2015 | | | |

Europe puts cap on agrofuel crops recognizing that these compete with food production

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On April 28, the European Parliament voted a new law that caps the use of crops to produce fuel. European MPs have recognized that agrofuels may compete with food production, contribute to climate change and force land-use changes.

This information was reported by Friends of the Earth Spain, which considers that this decision will contribute to the end of agrofuel use.

The European Parliament imposed a new limit to the percentage of agrofuel use allowed in transport by 7%. As Europe is the largest consumer of crop-derived diesel, such as palm oil, soy or rapeseed, this voting has global implications, especially for exporting countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia or Argentina.

This decision probably means the end of the expansion of the use of food crops as fuel.

Agrofuel production and consumption had grown exponentially from 2008-2009 when two European Directives (Renewables and Fuel Quality) included 10% binding targets for fuel coming from supposedly "renewable sources".

In this context, the previous target was 8.6% by 2020, which was reduced to 4.7%. The cap approved today means a recognition of the fact that agrofuels worsen climate change. Along these lines, the European Union left at each member state´s will to lower the use cap, if they choose to do it.

"These fuels do more harm than good to climate and people. The European Union is finally stopping agrofuels and it is recognizing to the rest of the world that they are not a solution to climate change. This decision ends a decade of debates about the impact of agrofuels, which have caused hunger, rising food prices and land grabbing", said Alejandro Gonzalez, Climate and Energy coordinator at Friends of the Earth Spain.

The EU had to withdraw its agrofuel policies, which should serve as a lesson for the other countries that are thinking of increasing the use of these fuels. There are 64 countries around the world that have increased or are planning to increase agrofuel use for transport, among them Indonesia.

Friends of the Earth urges EU countries to end the production of food crop-derived agrofuels.

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