Council confirms non-binding EU biofuel targets

Common position includes indicative goals for expanding non-fossil fuels, drops blending targets

EU foreign ministers yesterday rubber-stamped a common position for an EU directive to set targets for increasing the share of biofuels in road transport to 2% by 2005 and 5.75% by 2010. Despite opposition from the European Parliament, the council confirmed it wants non-binding indicative targets instead of the mandatory targets proposed by the European Commission (EED 05/07/02).

A parliamentary source told ENDS Europe DAILY today that MEPs would have only a "narrow margin for manoeuvre" to fight the council over the issue during a second reading. Governments have said they will refuse to adopt a parallel directive on tax breaks for biofuels unless they get their way. The legislative procedure in the tax breaks directive requires unanimity among member states and gives the parliament only a consultative role, eliminating its power to force conciliation talks (EED 21/06/02).

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