Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

  • Dansk
  • NL
  • EN
  • FI
  • FR
  • DE
  • EL
  • IT
  • NO
  • PL
  • PT
  • RO
  • SL
  • ES
  • SV

MEP report calls to drop target

The report by the European Parliament’s Rapporteur for the new laws on biofuels, Claude Turmes MEP, concludes that there is “overwhelming evidence to drop the mandatory 10 per cent target for fuels from renewables” [1].

Campaigners from a range of Europe-wide organisations welcomed the proposals to scrap the target and urged the industry and environment committees to drop the target [2].

Sofia Monsalve Suárez from FIAN said:

"European demand for crops for fuel is already helping push up food prices and creating a serious food crisis in some parts of the world. Land use for agrofuels is forcing small farmers and indigenous peoples off their lands, causing poverty and hunger. Agrofuels will not solve the hunger problem in the world. They will make it worse.

Anders Wijkman MEP (Sweden PPE), who is reporting to the Environment Committee on the same legislation, has also called for the target to be reduced, but campaigners say his proposal of eight per cent - designed to “create a market” - cannot be justified.

Nina Holland from Corporate Europe Observatory said:

An eight per cent target will cause almost as much damage as a ten per cent target. Pushing up food prices is causing hunger and that fact is inescapable. The EU’s targets should be dropped.”

They are also concerned by some of the other recommendations made in the draft Turmes report, including the recommendation that large amounts of biomass are used for electricity generation and heating.

Campaigners say they want to see a tougher definition of “renewables”, excluding agrofuels from large scale plantations which rely on large quantities of oil-based inputs, and which have damaging social impacts.

In parts of Latin America, cattle farmers are being forced on to previously un-farmed areas, threatening biodiversity in the region, and contributing to deforestation [3]. Palm oil production in Indonesia is a major cause of deforestation, which in turn leads to massive carbon emissions as the forest peatlands dry out [4].

René Louail, from CPE Board:

“Agrofuel plant construction in Europe should be stopped. The money should be instead spent on switching production in Europe to vegetable proteins so that we no longer depend on imports.”

EU representatives are currently in Bonn for discussions on the Convention on Biological Diversity where discussions are focused on how the agrofuel boom will impact on biodiversity. Civil society organisations present in Bonn are calling on the Parties to ban agrofuels from industrial monocultures.

Notes:

[1] The Turmes draft report on the Directive on Renewable Energies will be discussed this week by the Industry Committee

http://www.euractiv.com/en/energy/interview-mep-seeks-revamped-eu-renewables-law/article-172316

[2] Campaigners from AEFJN (Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network), Biofuelwatch, Carbon Trade Watch, COAG, Corporate Europe Observatory, CPE Board, Ecologistas en Acción (Spain), Econexus, FIAN, GRR, the Soya Alliance and the Transnational Institute are backing the call.

[3] See: http://www.corporateeurope.org/docs/soygreenwash.pdf

http://www.waronwant.org/Murders20spark20palm20oil20alert+15885.twl

[4] http://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports/cooking-the-climate-full

A key report from the European Parliament has called for the EU's 10% biofuel target to be scrapped, amidst growing evidence over the impact on wildlife, people and the world's food supplies.  

The report by the European Parliament’s Rapporteur for the new laws on biofuels, Claude Turmes MEP, concludes that there is “overwhelming evidence to drop the mandatory 10 per cent target for fuels from renewables” [1].

Campaigners from a range of Europe-wide organisations welcomed the proposals to scrap the target and urged the industry and environment committees to drop the target [2].

Sofia Monsalve Suárez from FIAN said:
"European demand for crops for fuel is already helping push up food prices and  creating a serious food crisis in some parts of the world.  Land use for agrofuels is forcing small farmers and indigenous peoples off their lands, causing poverty and hunger. Agrofuels will not solve the hunger problem in the world. They will make it worse.”

Anders Wijkman MEP (Sweden PPE), who is reporting to the Environment Committee on the same legislation, has also called for the target to be reduced, but campaigners say his proposal of eight per cent - designed to “create a market” - cannot be justified.

Nina Holland from Corporate Europe Observatory said:
“An eight per cent target will cause almost as much damage as a ten per cent target. Pushing up food prices is causing hunger and that fact is inescapable.  The EU’s targets should be dropped.”

They are also concerned by some of the other recommendations made in the draft Turmes report, including the recommendation that large amounts of biomass are used for electricity generation and heating.

Campaigners say they want to see a tougher definition of “renewables”, excluding agrofuels from large scale plantations which rely on large quantities of oil-based inputs, and which have damaging social impacts.

In parts of Latin America, cattle farmers are being forced on to previously un-farmed areas, threatening biodiversity in the region, and contributing to deforestation [3]. Palm oil production in Indonesia is a major cause of deforestation, which in
turn leads to massive carbon emissions as the forest peatlands dry out [4].

René Louail, from CPE Board:
“Agrofuel plant construction in Europe should be stopped.  The money should be instead spent on switching production in Europe to vegetable proteins so that we no longer depend on imports.”

EU representatives are currently in Bonn for discussions on the Convention on Biological Diversity where discussions are focused on how the agrofuel boom will impact on biodiversity. Civil society organisations present in Bonn are calling on the Parties to ban agrofuels from industrial monocultures.

Nina Holland, Corporate Europe Observatory + 31 630 285 042

Notes:
[1] The Turmes draft report on the Directive on Renewable Energies will be discussed this week by the Industry Committee
http://www.euractiv.com/en/energy/interview-mep-seeks-revamped-eu-renewables
-law/article-172316

[2] Campaigners from AEFJN (Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network), Biofuelwatch, Carbon Trade Watch, COAG, Corporate Europe Observatory, CPE Board, Ecologistas en Acción (Spain), Econexus, FIAN, GRR, the Soya Alliance and the Transnational Institute are backing the call.  
[3] See: http://archive.corporateeurope.org/docs/soygreenwash.pdf
http://www.waronwant.org/news/press-releases/15885-murders-spark-palm-oil-alert
[4]
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports/cooking-the-climate-full
Related issues: 
 

This week's European Commission decision to extend Glyphosate's market authorisation points to many broader problems - here is a CEO overview of the issues at large.

The official EU assessment of glyphosate was based on unpublished studies owned by industry. Seven months later, the pesticide industry still fights disclosure and, so far, successfully. We obtained a copy of their arguments.

In recent times we have seen various examples of green activists “coming out” as GMO-proponents, arguing that GMOs are safe and have multiple benefits: reduced pesticide use, higher income for farmers, contributing to food security, reduced greenhouse gas emissions... As an essential part of their discourse, organisations that continue to reject GMO technology are depicted as old-fashioned and as acting in contradiction to their own aims.

Mark Lynas is a well known example of this in the UK, with an (in)famous public apology for his past role in the anti-GM movement that drew a lot of media attention. Lynas' move has been copied by others, like blogger Stijn Bruers in Belgium. This framing of the GMO debate has proven quite attractive to the media, even though it is not always clear why specifically these people are seen to have the credentials to merit this attention.

There are many fundamental flaws in the argumentation they are putting forward. Claire Robinson of GMWatch, at the request of Corporate Europe Observatory, has written a rebuttal of many of the claims made by these newly converted GMO proponents. For practical reasons, this rebuttal follows the argumentation and claims made in an article by Bruers on his blog about GMOs .

On 15 June 2016, the Commission will finally announce the long-awaited scientific criteria for EDCs. Time to do a recap of this last season’s main episodes.

A few weeks after the May coup against Dilma Rousseff by conservative parties backed by the country's largest corporations, Brazil's “interim” government, led by Michel Temer, signed an emergency loan to the State of Rio de Janeiro to help finance infrastructure for the 2016 Olympics. The bailout was conditional to selling off the State's public water supply and sanitation company, the Companhia Estadual de Águas e Esgotos (Cedae). 

When we interviewed City Councillor and chair of Rio’s Special Committee on the Water Crisis Renato Cinco, in December 2015, he was already warning against such privatisation threats and provided important background information on the water situation in Rio.

José Manuel Barroso's move to Goldman Sachs has catapulted the EU’s revolving door problem onto the political agenda. It is symbolic of the excessive corporate influence at the highest levels of the EU.

Corporate Europe Observatory, Friends of the Earth and LobbyControl today wrote to Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, calling on him to investigate Angelika Nieber MEP over a possible conflict of interest.

CEO presents some first reflections on the UK's vote for Brexit.

 
 
 
 
 
-- placeholder --
 
 
 

The corporate lobby tour