In 2009 the European Union decided in 2020 to increase the share of biofuels for transport of up to 10 percent. The aim was twofold: to reduce dependence on imported oil and gas and at the same time reduce emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The production of biofuels has increased dramatically, and gradually began to improve sales. But now the EU blows clear: too many agricultural areas occupied by the production of biofuels, too many grains and vegetable oils are not on the table, and in the fuel tanks of vehicles.
We wanted the best …
Plans for a policy change announced just two EU Commissioner: German Gunther Oettinger (Gunther Oettinger), which oversees the energy sector, and Dane Connie Hedegaard, who is in charge of climate protection issues. "We have learned and decided to freeze the use of wheat, canola, corn and other crops for biofuel production at the current level of 5 percent," — said Ettinger.
A Hedegaard explained that the "rich Europe" should ask themselves the rhetorical question: "Do we want to use for the production of food consumption, which is already not enough, or should they care spending, and for biofuels to find other resources?"
The problem, however, is that the EU has ensured high subsidies to biofuel producers. Many farmers have decided that it is cheaper to process grains and oilseeds on the spot, and have invested a lot of money in a plant for the production of industrial alcohol and oil.
Humanitarian organizations have warned from the outset: the production of biofuels will lead to a shortage of plant food in the world market. Indeed, food prices in the world in recent years have gone up dramatically. In part, this is due to speculation, but biofuels have played a negative role.
In Europe and the United States bring its production to farmers are often more profitable than the sale of grain and other crops. But in many developing countries began cutting down forests to expand the area for the cultivation of industrial crops. So in the case of climate protection effect was more than doubtful.
Whether it was necessary to begin?
In turn, many farmers are already up in arms against EU plans to limit the amount of use of crops for biofuels. President of the German Farmers' Union Rukvid Joachim (Joachim Rukwied) believes that the EU "overawed by the pressure of one-sided debate about the rivalry plate and fuel tank." Federal Association of bioenergy considers plans of Brussels as "a fundamental undermining of confidence."
EU Commissioners Hedegaard and Oettinger, trying to calm the outrage, indicate that the subsidies will be reduced gradually. According to them, and the farmers, and manufacturers will have enough time to learn new technology. And under the new technologies Guenther Oettinger involves the production of biofuels from raw materials unfit for food, for example, waste or algae.
But was it worth it at all to begin a large-scale and costly campaign to increase the production of biofuels if it lasted only three years? In response to the question of journalists Ettinger candidly stated: "I am confident that in three years you will be reporting to the EU Commissioners who will know more. But based on what we know today, we tried to formulate the best offer. "