Exclusive: Climate impact threatens biodiesel future in EU

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 08, 2011 7:43 AM
Exclusive: Climate impact threatens biodiesel future in EU

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe's $13 billion biodiesel industry could be undermined by EU plans to tackle the unwanted side effects of biofuel production, after studies showed few climate benefits, four papers obtained by Reuters show.

The EU has been arguing for two years over the extent of indirect damage to the environment caused by setting a target of increasing biofuel use to 10 percent of all road fuels by 2020, and it is coming close to deciding how to act.

"The land use change effects make nearly half of the expected gains of shifting from fossil fuels to renewable biofuels disappear," said one of the leaked reports.

"This would have significant implications for the existing EU biodiesel industry," it added. "The viability of existing investments could be affected in the long run, as the availability of conventional biodiesel feedstocks would be extremely reduced."

(Reporting by Charlie Dunmore; editing by Keiron Henderson)