The production of energy from renewable biological sources such as wood is as old as mankind.
However, the creation of liquid fuels from grains, oil seeds, straw and wood is a much more recent development driven mostly by mandates to increase renewable energy. Some of this growth has been well intentioned, but often subsidies for bioenergy have led to land grabbing and the destruction of pristine forests, both in and outside the EU. In some cases this even led to an increase of greenhouse gas emissions. The results can be devastating and these actions cannot continue.
Yet, when properly regulated, some biofuels can play a key role in bringing down greenhouse gas emissions and helping to tackle climate change.
The EEB is therefore fighting for the EU to put in place and enforce rules ensuring the sustainability of biofuels, both for those produced within the EU and those that are imported from the rest of the world.
of palm oil imported to the EU is used for biodiesel, requiring around 1 million hectares of tropical land
Annual biofuels subsidies in Europe (2011 figures)