German proposals to cut crop-biofuel usage raises concerns

news item image
Germany has announced plans to cut the use of biofuels produced from food and feed crops because of rising food costs.
This is also due to reduction in supply of agricultural products caused by disruption of exports from main suppliers Ukraine and Russia.
The Minister of the Environment, Steffi Lemke, expressed for the first time her intention to examine the regulation surrounding biofuels and to reduce their share.
No concrete proposals have been outlined and a working group has been set up between the environment and agriculture ministries to coordinate the change.
The reduction of the cap below 4.4 % is legally very simple because all that is needed is an amendment to the ordinance, which the Federal Government, can adopt without the approval of the Bundestag.
Dieter Bockey, of UFOP, said:  "At present, we cannot rule out whether the law regulating the GHG quota will also be amended.
"Should this be the case, however, the intervention would have a greater impact because it would lower the achievement of the climate protection target in the transport sector, because currently and in the coming years only biofuels (from cultivated biomass, residues, waste) can make a measurable contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gases in the transport sector.
"To this end, the Federal Climate Protection Act stipulates mandatory annual emission ceilings for each sector, which may not be exceeded, otherwise the minister of traffic concerned must submit measures at short notice to ensure compliance with the emission target. This deadline is three months and must be implemented within the calendar year."
According to UFOP, if there is a shortfall of about 10 million tonnes of CO2 reduction from biofuels from cultivated biomass, it is not entirely clearwhere the reduction is supposed to come from.
She added: "Against this background, the biofuels sector is eager to see what will be agreed between the two ministries."