A European Parliamentary committee yesterday (Tuesday, February 24) backed a new lower limit on traditional biofuels that can be blended into transport fuels.

There has been pressure to reduce the amount of biofuels produced from food crops – because their production can push up food prices and lead to deforestation – and to replace them with a new generation of advanced biofuels made from seaweed or waste.

If adopted the measure would not affect current legislation which requires EU member states to ensure that renewable sources account for at least 10% of energy in transport by 2020.

However, the European Parliament’s environment committee on Tuesday agreed that biofuel from food crops should not exceed 6% of final energy use in transport – a lower limit than the 7% backed by member states last year.

It also agreed negotiations between member states, the European Commission and the Parliament should start now on a legislative text, rather than waiting for a plenary parliamentary vote.