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Political agreement reached on EU biofuels policy

The EU Energy Council has reached political agreement on measures to incorporate indirect land use change into EU biofuels policies.

These proposals will go to second reading in the new European Parliament before becoming law.

All EU Member States are committed to securing 10% of transport energy from renewable sources, such as biodiesel, bioethanol and biomethane, by 2020.

The UK Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation is currently set at 4.75% (by volume – equivalent to 3.8% by energy).

The government has previously stated that it would not raise the RTFO beyond this year due to the ongoing uncertainty over the European ILUC dossier.

With ILUC now resolved, the REA calls on the Department for Transport to set out the RTFO to 2020 to give our members the policy framework they need to secure investment in both current and advanced biofuels.

REA chief executive Dr Nina Skorupska said: “This is a compromise that will frustrate parties on both sides of the debate, but the overriding feeling is one of relief that the ILUC saga is finally drawing to a close. Our members and stakeholders have grappled with this issue for several years, when they would rather have been focusing their efforts on creating jobs in sustainable biofuel production.

“We urge the government to get its own house in order now so that the transport sector can get the low carbon momentum back on track and catch up with the progress being made in renewable heating and electricity.”

Ministers also debated the 2030 energy and climate change framework and the EU energy security strategy.

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