For the last couple of years, the RSPB and many other NGOs have been campaigning against biofuel targets. One of my favourite moments was when we ran this advert in the national press.
Great ad, made even better by the fact that a complaint to the Advertising Standards Agency about it was rejected!
We’ve also got involved more and more in helping our partners in developing countries to fight damaging biofuel plantation proposals, such as this 10,000 hectare plantation that was proposed in Kenya and would have destroyed a tropical forest if NGOs hadn’t risen to the challenge.
But it has always felt like we were trying to turn around a juggernaut. Public money is being used to subsidise the sector, and the UK Government has always claimed its hands were tied by EU policy, which requires that 10% of all transport fuels come from biofuels by 2020.
Today, however, looks like that this juggernaut might be ready for turning, and Reuters are reporting that the EU is now considering a limit of biofuels made from crops.
Ariel Brunner, who is Head of EU Policy for BirdLife International, has been one of the leading voices on biofuels in Brussels for many years. Here’s what he had to say:
“It seems like our politicians are finally heeding the call of reason. The current biofuels policy is increasing emissions, and harming both nature and people. Hitting the brakes on further use of agricultural land to feed cars, and bringing in honest accounting of GHG emissions, are a good place to start in bringing sanity back to Europe’s transport policy.”
New proposals from the EU today mark a significant moment in our efforts to stop biofuels.