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Yesterday EU agriculture ministers meeting in Brussels formally approved legislation limiting the use of food-based biofuels in the EU. This ministerial decision was effectively a rubber-stamp of a deal sealed with the European Parliament in April.
Oxfam's fight to end current European biofuels mandates started in September 2012 with the release of the 'Hunger Grains' and culminated in a series of battles to secure sufficient votes from Members of the European Parliament in September 2013 and April 2015 and from Member States in December 2013 and June 2014. Along the way strong alliances were forged in Brussels and by European affiliates with other organisations campaigning against the use of food for fuel and for a more sustainable European renewable energy policy that delivers genuine benefits for the climate without threatening the livelihood of people across the globe.
This part of the GROW campaign has pitted Oxfam against some of the most powerful interest groups in Europe: the farmers' lobby, oil majors and the biofuel industry. Its achievement in terms of legislative change is not as ambitious as we would have liked but it is nonetheless of global significance. By putting the brakes on food-based biofuels and requiring the reporting on greenhouse gas emissions caused by the displacement of agriculture onto new land, the EU has set a precedent that is threatening the future of the industry. The industry knows this and is reacting accordingly in Europe and globally.
So the fight goes on!
This entry posted by Marc-Olivier Herman (@MarcOlivierHerm), Oxfam EU Economic Justice Policy Lead, on 15 July 2015.
Photo: Rapeseed is now often grown as biofuels as well as animal feed and vegetable oil. © Copyright Adam Ward, used under Creative Commons Licence http://bit.ly/1CDQx8e