EU panel votes to cut goals on use of biofuels

A key panel of European Union lawmakers has voted to lower the target for the use of biofuels from energy crops, such as wheat and corn, amid criticism of their potential impacts on food security.

The executive European Commission proposed that 10% of all road transport fuel come from renewable sources by 2020, although it did not specify how much of this would come from biofuels.

The European Parliament’s influential industry committee endorsed the 10% target, but stated that 40% of the target must come from renewable sources such as electricity or hydrogen, Reuters reported.

Many environmentalists oppose the use of biofuels produced from grains and oil seeds, because they are thought to contribute to rising food prices and deforestation.

The committee’s decision will likely serve as parliament’s position on biofuels during the 2009 negotiations with the 27 EU member states.

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