EU Agrofuels Policy: Letters to MEPs

In September, the proposal amending the Renewable Energy Directive, or the EU Biofuels Policy, was discussed and voted on at the European Parliament. In the run-up to the vote, AEFJN as part of a broad civil society coalition has lobbied the European Parliament to scrap the mandates for land-based biofuels which are causing hunger and deforestation in Africa and elsewhere. We have issued an open letter to MEPs stating how biofuels drive land grabs and increase hunger in developing countries and have pleaded for a phase-out of these biofuel mandates and the introduction of ILUC-criteria. As part of the coalition, we have also sent personal emails to MEPs, re-stating our demands and adding the latest scientific reports on the harmful effects of agrofuels. Before the final vote in plenary we also sent the MEPs our voting recommendations.



In the end, the European Parliament was divided on the issue and it adopted a compromise text.  However, the Parliament refused to give its rapporteur a mandate to negotiate with the Council, which will relegate a definitive decision on biofuels policy until after the 2014 European elections. This postponement is a worrying signal for developing countries who today are already suffering from the negative consequences of this policy. On the positive side, the adopted text limits all land-based biofuels (for example jatropha) instead of merely food-based biofuels. However, to reach the proposed limit of 6%, more food will be diverted towards the production of agrofuels.


Gino Brunswijck

Policy Officer

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