Back £700m biofuels industry, says NFU

An NFU delegation will call for the UK government to back the biofuels industry, worth an estimated £700 million at the farm gate, when it meets with Baroness Kramer, Minister of State for Transport, for the first time this week.

Biofuel pump_275_229It comes ahead of a crucial European vote on biofuels on December 12.

The NFU will urge Baroness Kramer to oppose both the proposed introduction of indirect Land Use Change (iLUC) factors, and a reduction from the ten to seven per cent crop-based biofuels can currently contribute to the original Renewable Energy Directive.

The delegation will also ask for an increase in the level of biofuel that can be included in domestic fuel blends, currently set at 4.75 per cent. The NFU believes this would provide room for the growth of a sustainable, green industry.

?NFU biofuels spokesman Brett Askew said: “We are looking forward to meeting with Baroness Kramer to discuss the benefits of the industry, as well as raising our concerns with the department again about the failings of the proposal on the table.

"It is essential any decisions made about the contentious topic of iLUC are based on robust science.

“Make no mistake, the biofuels industry is incredibly beneficial, adding value to our grain and oilseeds for feed and fuel markets. We currently import an estimated 80 per cent of the animal feed consumed in the livestock, pig and poultry sectors. This cost nearly £7.5 billion in 2012.

"However, at full capacity, the UK biofuels industry could help reduce that cost by more than £600 million, which underlines the importance of biofuels and why the UK government must demonstrate its support for sustainable industry in its actions both at home and abroad.”

What is Indirect Land Use Change?

ILUC is the hypothethis that when biofuels are produced on existing agricultural land the demand for food and feed crops remains and may lead to someone producing more food and feed elsewhere, perhaps elsewhere in the world and perhaps on land which was not previously agricultural.

What are ILUC factors?
An attempt to assess the environmental impact of crops being used for biofuels in the EU. These would be included in member sStates' and fuel suppliers' reporting of greenhouse gas savings under the Renewable Energy Directive and in the Fuel Quality Directive respectively.


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