Europe's biodiesel industry could be wiped out by EU plans to tackle the unwanted side effects of biofuel production, after studies showed few climate benefits, four papers obtained by Reuters show.
Europe's world-leading $13 billion biodiesel industry, which has boomed in the wake of a decision by Brussels policymakers in 2003 to promote it, is now on the verge of being legislated out of existence after the studies revealed biodiesel's indirect impact cancels out most of its benefits.
"This study would pave the way for the demise of the European biodiesel sector," Philippe Tillous-Borde, chief of French oilseed giant Sofiproteol, which owns Europe's largest biodiesel producer, told Reuters.
The EU has been arguing for two years over the extent of indirect damage to the environment caused by it setting a target of increasing biofuel use to 10 percent of all road fuels by 2020, from less than three percent today.
Its own analysis shows the target may lead to an indirect one-off release of around 1,000 megatonnes of carbon dioxide--more than twice the annual emissions of Germany.
The emerging picture that the EU has got its policy wrong has proved unpalatable, and the European Commission has refused a Reuters freedom of information request for the latest studies, arguing the public interest of disclosure is insufficient.
However, those documents have now been leaked.… Read more