Demand for soy diesel could quadruple in Europe because of the EU’s biofuels policy, a new independent study has found.
According to the Transport & Environment (T&E) campaign group, soy cultivation was a major cause of deforestation in the Amazon and other ecosystems in Latin America and biofuel made from soy was twice as harmful to the climate as fossil diesel.
The organisation has raised concerns that soy diesel looked set to become a major source of biofuel, replacing palm oil diesel in European vehicles – unless the EU declared it unsustainable like it did for palm.
Cristina Mestre, biofuels manager at T&E, which commissioned the study, said: “Soy imports will cause deforestation on an epic scale if we don't change the EU’s green fuels law. But there’s a very simple fix. The European Commission has already decided palm diesel will no longer count as green and now they should do the same for soy diesel. Otherwise soy risks burning a big hole in Europe’s climate plans.”
Over one-tenth of recent soy expansion may have led to the destruction of forests and other carbon sinks, the study has claimed.
Up to 38 million tonnes of additional CO2 could be emitted by 2030 if no regulatory action was taken in Europe, the analysis found.
Cristina Mestre concluded: “Europe’s biofuels policy is a complete disaster and is in dire need of a reset. Burning food crops to power our vehicles is actually worse than burning diesel. Cars and trucks can already run on clean electricity, and planes and ships will too through green hydrogen and efuels.”
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