Key EU lawmaker proposes new 2015 biofuel target

4/07/2008 - 18:23
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TARGET 68,32 +0,75%

PARIS (Reuters) - A key European Union lawmaker said on Friday he had broad parliamentary backing to propose changing the EU's target for biofuels so that 4 percent of road transport fuels come from renewable sources by 2015.

Claude Turmes told Reuters one-fifth of those renewable fuels would have to be either second generation biofuels or electric vehicles. There would be a major review in 2015 to decide whether to move towards an 8-10 percent TARGET (TGT.NY)in 2020.

Turmes, who is leading legislation on renewable energy through the European Parliament, said he had the support of socialist, liberal and conservative groups, as well as some greens, ahead of a committee vote next Monday.

A final vote would come later in the year.

EU leaders last year agreed on a goal of drawing 10 percent of transport fuels from biofuels by 2020 but the target has come under attack from campaigners who say it is pushing up food prices and will cause deforestation.

"In 2015 there would be a major review with an assessment of food versus energy, the commercial availability of second generation biofuels, and seeing how quickly electric cars are penetrating the market," Turmes said on the sidelines of a meeting of EU energy ministers.

"Firstly this would slow down the rush into non-sustainable biofuels, and then it would create a real incentive for second generation biofuels," he added.

By lowering the 10 percent target, more biomass would be made available for more efficient processes, such as converting it to electricity or heat, he said.

(Reporting by Pete Harrison, editing by Paul Taylor and Ralph Boulton)

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