Crop biofuel limit agreed by EU Ministers
European agriculture groups warn that an agreement reached by EU Ministers to limit the amount of crops grown for biofuel production will have serious impact on parts of the arable sector and the commercial development of biofuels. Energy Ministers in June finally settled on a 7% cap on the amount of EU transport fuel that should be derived from cereal and oilseed crops, having failed to agree on the issue in January (Agrow No 679, p 5). This is larger than the European Commission’s original proposal of a 5% limit to prevent more agricultural land being moved away from food production (Agrow No 649, p 9) and the European Parliament’s proposed increase to 6% (Agrow No 673, p 10). Nevertheless, the agriculture industry has been lobbying against any cap because of the threat to the oilseed rape area. European farmers’ group Copa-Cogeca believes that the threshold should be at least 8% for crop-based biofuels. The Ministers need to formally adopt their agreement to complete their first reading of the Commission’s proposals.