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Green-minded MEPs put more energy on renewables, face headwinds

News item

Wednesday 25 Oct 2017

Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, praised the outcome of a vote this week in the European Parliament to reform the EU’s rules and objectives on renewable energy.

The committee on the Environment in the European Parliament of which Ms. Childers is a member, voted on its own proposals yesterday night. These will be referred to the main committee on industry and energy, where all proposals will be worked on before a full vote over the coming months.

Ms. Childers’ proposals for the new renewables regime focused mainly on eliminating the use of food crops other than waste by-products to make biofuels and the displacement of food production from land for the same purposes.

The Dublin MEP also took the same approach to environmentally disastrous crops such as palm oil and aimed to establish tight criteria allowing the use of forestry waste and residues whilst preventing unsustainable use of trees to generate energy, and ensuring that forest carbon stocks are not depleted.

Commenting on the outcome of the vote, Ms. Childers said:

“I am satisfied to see our committee proposing a higher renewables goal with binding national targets, and particularly happy to see the demand to phase palm oil out by 2021, and a gradual phase-out of conventional biofuels by 2030.

“I am concerned with the lax approach to forestry that we saw

“The conservative members shot down proper biomass sustainability proposals, yet they still found our overall outcome too green to the liking of biofuels producers and voted against the final text.

“I hope our colleagues in the energy and industry committee won’t make this set of proposals any less ambitious before it is put to a vote by the full house.”