Biofuels tax drivers €18 billion but don’t reduce emissions

Motorists across Europe are to pay €18 billion a year for petrol and diesel as a result of EU biofuel targets that do not to reduce emissions, according to new research today (February 2).

The research, carried out by the Global Subsidies Initiative and the FiFo Institute for Public Economics, for Friends of the Earth Europe and ActionAid claims the planned increase in biofuels use could cost European motorists an extra €94bn to €126bn between now and 2020.

At the same time the report claims demand for biofuels is pushing up global food prices and driving millions of poor people off their land and into hunger.

In also says at least 37m hectares of land has already been grabbed globally to produce biofuels.

It also alleges Africa is hardest hit with 60% of land grabs for biofuel crops, depriving local communities of land and water essential for growing food.

Friends of the Earth Europe biofuels campaigner, Robbie Blake, said: “Europe’s squeezed consumers and taxpayers are paying the price for a flawed green policy that delivers no environmental benefits.

“Motorists and the environment will bear the brunt of these ill-conceived biofuel targets – with higher prices at the pump and higher CO2 emissions.

“Europe must scrap its biofuel targets and subsidies and replace them with more cost-effective policies that actually reduce emissions from transport and don’t wreck the environment.”

ActionAid’s European policy and campaigns manager, Laura Sullivan, said: “Biofuels are an expensive climate con.

“EU biofuels targets are not reducing emissions but are pushing up global food prices and driving more people into hunger.

“EU decision-makers must withdraw targets and subsidies for biofuels and invest in genuine solutions to cut carbon.”

The report is available here.

Luke Walsh

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