While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sorts through comments regarding a potential waiver of the Renewable Fuels Standard, the European Union is headed toward imposing a limit on crop-based biofuels, according to leaked EU draft legislation uncovered by Reuters.
The draft legislation would eliminate subsidies of crop-based biofuels when the legislation expires in 2020, and would limit biofuels to just 5% of the total transportation energy sector, Reuters reports.
The potential change in policy reflects recent interest in the indirect land use change theory, which is the belief that demand for agricultural land increases as demand for crop-based fuels grows. Farmers may meet extra demand by clearing forests and therefore adding carbon emissions to the atmosphere.
Existing EU policy goals source 10% of fuels from renewable resources. There has been discussion of using advanced biofuels from household waste and algae to make up the crop-sourced biofuels' share of the 10%, Reuters reports, if a limit goes into effect.
The proposed rule would affect the growing EU biofuel industry and potentially eliminate jobs. Groups in support of the proposed legislation say current biofuels policy is unsustainable.