The European Commission’s biofuel plans will cost Europe’s cereal and beet farmers at least EUR 2 billion per annum warn trade associations in joint letter to Commission.
On the occasion of the World Ethanol & Biofuels conference taking place in Brussels, Belgium the European Association of Sugar Manufacturers (CEFS), the European Confederation of Maize Production (CEPM), the International Confederation of European Beet Growers (CIBE) and the European Renewable Ethanol Producers Association (ePURE) have issued a joint letter to the European Commission (EC) strongly opposing any phasing out of EU support for conventional biofuels produced in Europe from crops and feedstock that have been grown in Europe.
Addressed to Commissioners Bulc, Cañete, Hogan and Šefčovič, the letter warns that any plan to phase out conventional ethanol, produced from crops such as corn, wheat and sugar beet would not be scientifically justified, will rob transport of a credible green alternative and will cost European cereal and beet farmers at least EUR 2.1 billion in revenue per year.
In order to strengthen the sustainability of Europe’s biofuels policy post-2020, the quartet urges EU support for the European biofuels sector. Biofuels produced from crops and feedstocks grown in Europe already operate under the most sustainable farming conditions in the world. In addition, the EU should ensure that imported biofuels are regulated and managed to the same high degree of sustainability criteria that govern biofuels produced in Europe.
– The Commission’s suggestion to phase out after 2020 perfectly sustainable conventional biofuels, such as European ethanol, is neither justified nor a solution and will kill a market worth billions of EUR to our financially struggling farmers, said Robert Wright, Secretary-General of ePURE.