7 APRIL 2017
ICSA president Patrick Kent has given a guarded welcome to the European Parliament own initiative report on imported palm oil, which he says, “is a much more nuanced response to use of biofuels as a transport fuel in Europe.” However, Mr Kent warned that the report, which was passed by an over-whelming majority of the EU parliament in Strasbourg this week (April 4), must now be followed by a logical position on promoting more use of sustainable biofuels from crops grown by European farmers which are achieving up to 70% reductions on GHG emissions compared to imported fossil fuels.
“The report correctly indicates that land use change in terms of biofuels is actually an issue around one specific type of biofuel based on imported biofuel and therefore the whole premise of the RED II proposal to reduce biofuels from 7% to 3.8% in transport energy is completely misguided. Moreover, the report touches on the issue of land use change around imported soya but it is vital to recognise that European farmers need protein sources for livestock feed. Accordingly, there will potentially be increased need for by-products from EU biofuels such as distillers grains which are high in protein and locally available.”
The report should now inform the discussion on the RED II proposals on cutting all biofuels which make no sense and which would, if implemented, undermine a much needed outlet for EU maize, rapeseed and sugar beet production at a time when EU tillage farmers are under serious pressure from falling prices due to world record crop production levels.