NGO media briefing on ILUC and biofuels

In advance of 12 Dec Energy Council

Publication - December 9, 2013
[This report was edited on 10 December at 17:10 to correct the carbon dioxide emission figure under a 7% cap on page 2, section 1]

On 12 December, energy ministers will come together in Brussels to vote on the European Commission’s proposed reform of EU biofuel policy. The reform is designed to reduce the environmental and social impacts of EU demand for biofuels – specifically the Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) effects of their production. If left unchanged, current policy will lead to higher instead of lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels, will destroy forests and damage biodiversity, will push small scale farmers off their land and threaten the food security of the world’s poorest people.

Under pressure from the industrial and farming lobby, EU ministers have seriously weakened the Commission’s initial proposal. The Lithuanian presidency’s draft compromise that will be put for a vote on Thursday is a negation of environmental priorities and the right of people to food security.

This briefing will outline:

-What is wrong with current EU biofuels policy?

-What is on the table at Thursday’s Energy Council meeting?

-The three key issues on the table, with a discussion of governments’ positions

  • A cap on the amount of land-based biofuels
  • Dilution of 20% renewable energy target
  • ILUC accounting

-Recommendations from leading environmental and development NGOs

-Media contacts

20131209 Joint NGO Biofuels Media Advisory