MEP calls for sweeping changes to EU biofuel and bioenergy legislation

MEP Bas Eickhout has proposed sweeping reforms to EU legislation regarding bioenergy and biofuels.

They come amid the Dutch politician’s proposals for increasing the EU’s renewable energy share target for 2030 from 27% to 45%.

"The entire energy sector must be sustainable by 2040 one hundred percent." Eickhout said, according to Groen Links. Just as significantly, he stressed the importance of ensuring renewable energy sources were truly sustainable.

"Regarding sustainable bioenergy I see a few obstacles on the road, which I pick up in my bills", said Eickhout. In particular, he criticises subsidies being given to wood pellet biomass harvested from existing forest in the US, which is shredded and then shipped to the Netherlands for use in biomass plants.

Eickhout proposes allowing sustainable and waste wood to be seen as a renewable energy source, but not the burning of entire forests. He also suggests greater concern over biodiversity, so enough waste wood is left behind to keep soil healthy.

Eickhout also called for a reconsideration on certain biofuels, supporting investment in waste based and algae biofuels, but calling for an end to support of those made from food crops. "Biofuels have to prove that they provide sufficient CO2 savings without adverse effects on humans and nature. Only then they will count towards the renewable energy target and are therefore eligible,” he told Groen Links.

The EU’s Environment Committee will vote on Eickhout’s proposals after the summer.

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