Bio-fuels compromise safeguards jobs and investment

14-Apr-2015 @ 18:30

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 Bio-fuels compromise safeguards jobs and investment

Conservative MEPs today backed a compromise agreement on the future of biofuels which they hope will allow greater certainty and security for companies and workers involved in the fledgling energy sector.

The European Parliament's Environment Committee voted to support a compromise, which introduced important checks and balances to a raft of changes proposed to regulations on renewable energy.

It had been feared that an unscientific approach to assessing environmental impact could have severely threatened the viability of existing programmes for producing bio-fuels.

Julie Girling, Conservative environment spokesman in the European Parliament, said the compromise may not be perfect, but it offered some clarity and certainty which would allow companies investing in bio-fuels to make sound plans for future activity.

She said: "This was an important matter of protecting investment in biofuels and securing jobs - many of them in Britain."

Jobs had been threatened by highly-technical and burdensome proposals to change the way the environmental impact of growing biofuel crops is measured. Green MEPs had been pushing to include aspects such as extra agricultural land-use needed for displaced food crops. It was feared these could have left many established biofuels schemes no longer viable.

Mrs Girling said: "I have seen first-hand the good work biofuelsfirms are doing in the UK, generating jobs and contributing to the green economy. This will give greater certainty to people investing in this important field, as well greater security to individual workers whose jobs were at risk.

"This sector can make an important contribution to our energy mix, but we need to offer it fair treatment instead of putting ever-higher barriers in its way."

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