Andrew Duff MEP: EU Biofuels targets

Dear MEP,
I am writing to ask you to vote against increased EU biofuel targets as proposed by the European Commission in the draft Directive on renewable energy.
You may be aware of the overwhelming evidence published over the last few months that the large scale production of biofuels will
– have devastating effects on the world’s most important habitats
– have disastrous consequences for the poorest people and
– do little to tackle climate change.
Despite this evidence the European Commission has held on to its proposal to include a 10% target for biofuels by 2020.
The Commission proposes to avoid negative impacts from biofuels through the introduction of sustainability criteria.
In reality sustainability criteria fail to solve problems like the pressure biofuel crops exert on other agricultural land uses, pushing them into rainforests and other habitats (a problem known as leakage). And there are not even attempts to address social issues like land rights conflicts and the effects on the world’s food prices.
If you feel you cannot vote against the target I would like to hear from you how you propose the problems of leakage and the social impacts of biofuels will be tackled.
You can contact me by email.
Yours sincerely,
Denis Walker
22 Feb 2008

Subject: RE: EU biofuel target
Date: 10 March 2008 11:55:39 GMT
Dear Mr Walker,
Many thanks for your recent email about biofuels.
In reaction to the latest scientific evidence about the potential damage done by biofuels, the European Commission has now modified its policy.
It is now proposing a 10 per cent target only for "renewable energy from transport". This is a significant change from the 10% "biofuels target" agreed by the European Council last March.
I share your fears about the environmental impact of a large-scale and swift shift from food to biofuels and biomass production.
I and my Liberal Democrat colleagues will be seeking to ensure that the EU will encourage biofuel production only if it is sustainable. It is absolutely essential for all biofuels, whether imported or produced in Europe, to satisfy sustainability criteria in respect of net CO2 savings, biodiversity protection, water resources and effects on food
Thank you once again for contacting me on this important issue.
Yours sincerely,
Andrew Duff

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