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COPA-COGECA welcomes new EU study which highlights benefits of biofuels in reducing greenhouse gas emissions


31 Mar 2010


Agriculture & Food

Copa-Cogeca welcomed today a new EU study which highlights the benefits of biofuels in terms
of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The report by the International Food Research Policy Institute (IFPRI) titled “Global Trade and
Environmental Impact of the EU Biofuels Mandate” was commissioned by the EU Commission.
Speaking in Brussels, Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen insisted “The study
confirms the positive emission reduction effects of biofuels. Copa-Cogeca has been emphasising
their benefits for sometime now. Not only do they have a positive impact on greenhouse gas
emissions, they also reduce our oil dependency and boost employment in rural areas”.

The most widely used biofuels include biodiesel derived from oilseeds and bioethanol from
cereals or sugarbeet and blended with petrol. “The study reveals that an increase in demand for
the raw materials used to produce biofuels in the EU from now until 2020 will only cause a
slight rise in the use of arable land of between 0.07% to 0.08%. The EU’s policy to promote the
use of biofuels will consequently have little effect on land use on an international scale but this
impact could nevertheless be accentuated if trade in biofuels is liberalised further. That is why
imports to the EU must be governed by specific rules”.

The findings are nevertheless subject to a great number of uncertainties because of gaps in
available data and the lack of complete empirical validation. “For example, it is completely
irrealistic to say that EU yields will drop by as much as 10% on average from 2007 to 2020, as
claimed in the study”, Mr Pesonen stressed.

For further information, please contact:

Dominique Dejonckheere

Senior Policy Advisor

Tel.: +32 2 287 27 30

Amanda Cheesley

Press Officer

Mobile: + 32 474 840 836


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