The seven include four coordinators of the environment committee, its chair, and the former rapporteur for the Renewable Energy Directive.
Last month, nine NGOs published a report commissioned by the Institute for European Environmental Policy, which looked at the likely environmental impact of meeting national biofuels targets. It concluded that once land use change is included the additional biofuels used will be responsible for between 81% and 167% more greenhouse gases than fossil fuels and require twice the size of Belgium in new land to grow them.
There are signs that concerns over biofuels green credentials are affecting investment in the sector. Reuters reports that the biofuels industry is having difficulty attracting finance as uncertainty remains over how much of a market there will be for fuels produced from biomass. The uncertainty is combined with government budget cuts which are causing less money to be available through tax advantages for biofuels.
In an interview with the Reuters news agency earlier this month, the head of a British biofuels company called for a clear European policy which favoured biofuels that provided the greatest environmental benefits. Alwyn Hughes of Ensus said, ‘The (biofuels) industry is being held back by a lack of robust discrimination between what is good and what is bad.’