The withholding of 140 documents by the European Commission, which may contain information likely to impact upon the development of biofuels policy and direction in Europe, is being challenged by a coalition of environmental groups including the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) before the General Court of the European Union. The documents contain previously undisclosed information on the negative climate impacts of widespread biofuels use in the EU.
At issue is the future regulation of biofuels in the European Union. Member States are required to use renewable sources to meet 10% of their transport needs by 2020, which will be met in large part through the increased use of biofuels. A well-known consequence of biofuels production, however, is the conversion of forests and other natural areas into cropland to replace those croplands lost to biofuels production — a phenomenon called indirect land-use change (ILUC) that releases significant greenhouse-gas emissions. The requested documents sought in the ClientEarth v. Commission case reveal the science on those impacts.
A press release with further details is available on the EEB website.
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