The European Union is considering changing its policy on biofuels, the Nature News Blog reports.
"Biofuels that do not lead to substantial greenhouse gas savings (when emissions from indirect land-use change are included) and are produced from crops used for food and feed should not be subsidised [after 2020]," the Nature News Blog quotes the draft proposal as saying.
European subsidies for biofuels began in 2003, and, in 2009, the EU set as a target that 10 percent of all fuel should come from biofuels, likely crop-based biofuels, by 2020, the Nature News Blog reports. The new policy would lower that target to 7 percent to 8 percent and limit the contribution of crop-based biofuels to about 5 percent — about 4.5 percent of transportation fuel in Europe already comes from this source. The remainder, it says, would come from 'secondary' biofuels such as those derived from agricultural residue, algae, or municipal waste.
Any changes would have to be approved by the EU Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, which the Nature News Blog says could take until 2015.