The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) suggests that hundreds of new jobs could be created using ‘advanced biofuels’ produced by industries, farms, and households.
First generation biofuels, which are made from sugars found in arable crops , have been criticised for displacing food crops and raising commodity prices. In contrast advanced biofuel is produced from biomass – organic carbon which renews rapidly – and is considerably as less environmentally damaging.
The creation and use of advanced biofuels has the potential to make significant carbon savings as well as create 36,000 new jobs in skilled areas.
The report goes onto warns that policies and frameworks need to be put in place in order to maximise the financial and social gains, as well as environmental, or the opportunity will be lost.
Chris Malins, who led the analysis for ICCT, says that a mandatory advanced biofuels goal is crucial to improving the sustainability sector: “Alternative fuels from wastes and residues offer real and substantial carbon savings, even when taking account of possible indirect emissions. The resource is available, and the technology exists – the challenge now is for Europe to put a policy framework in place that allows rapid investment."
The upcoming vote in European Parliament's Environment Committee will decide on compromise biofuels reform bill, which could see advanced biofuels providing 1.25% of Europe's transport fuel by 2020.
The bill would also introduce criteria for assessing biofuels' sustainability and set a 6% cap for the amount that first generation biofuel could contribute to the EU's 2020 target of providing 10% of road transport fuel from low carbon sources.
But sources at the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) told the Guardian that they were unlikely to back such a package, they said: "We think it is unrealistically ambitious. We are not going to support the compromise proposal."