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EU U-turn spells doom for food-based biofuels boom

Source:  Copyright 2012, Reuters
Date:  September 20, 2012
Original URL: Status ONLINE


European Union plans to cap the use of food-based biofuels are a major setback for an industry once seen playing a central role in the fight against climate change, but now more often cast as the villain following a series of global food price spikes.

Industry sources and analysts predict the plan could trigger a wave of plant closures across Europe while questioning whether so-called advanced biofuels, often made from waste products, can play the greater role now envisioned by the European Commission.

The European Commission announced a major shift in biofuel policy on Monday, saying it plans to limit crop-based biofuels to 5 percent of transport fuel, after campaigners said existing rules take food out of people's mouths.

Biofuels made from food crops such as grains, sugar and vegetable oils, often called first generation biofuels, had been expected to provide the bulk of a target that 10 percent of all transport fuel should come from ...

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