EU cut biofuel use in half

Backing away by half is better than nothing.

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- EU lawmakers voted Thursday to cut in half an ambitious target for using crop-based biofuels for 10 percent of its road transport needs by 2020.

The vote by the European Parliament's industry committee deals a blow to climate change goals agreed by EU leaders last year to try to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Environmental and aid groups had criticized the EU's 10 percent biofuels use target, claiming it harmed efforts to fight global poverty, to effectively tackle carbon emissions and caused deforestation.

The biofuels target is part of an ambitious climate change package the 27 EU leaders embraced last year, which they hope to enact by year's end.

The overall aim is for the EU to draw 20 percent of all its energy from renewable sources by 2020 -- up from 8.5 percent now. . . .

Adrian Bebb, from Friends of the Earth Europe, said Thursday's vote "recognizes the serious problems associated with the large scale use of biofuels."

"Using crops to feed cars is a false solution to our climate change problems and could lead to irreversible loss of wildlife and misery for millions of people in the South," he said.

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