23 Jan 2023, 13:30
Carolina Kyllmann

German environment minister hopes to phase out biofuels from 2030

Clean Energy Wire / Table.Media

A draft bill that would seal a deal to phase out biofuels derived from food or feed crops should be voted on by ministers “as soon as possible”, German environment minister Steffi Lemke said following the 2023 Agricultural Congress on 17 January. According to the minister, biofuels derived from food or animal feed should be phased out from 2030 to ensure food goes on to plates instead of into fuel tanks. Currently, 4.4 percent of diesel and petrol can be made from organic matter but, according to a draft bill proposal by the environment ministry, this value is to be lowered to 2.3 percent as early as 2024, Table.Media reports. Biofuels are currently produced from purpose-grown rapeseed, maize, wheat or soya, but those wishing to produce them in future should use only waste biomass instead, the minister said. “Plants belong on the plate, not in the tank, when we consume them. That is why agrofuels from food and feed crops are not a viable option for the future,” she added.

Concerns about food security have driven the debate to reduce biofuel production – especially in the wake of growing food shortages due to the war in Ukraine – as they reduce the area available for food production. Agrofuels are currently added to petrol and diesel to reduce the carbon footprint of the transport sector. The German transport ministry has so far rejected a reduction of the quota, saying biofuels reduce the need for fossil fuels and therefore contribute to the sector’s emission reduction targets.

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