The EU Parliament Industry committee backed a report by MEP Claude Turmes that calls for a 5% share of renewables in transport fuel by 2015 and a 10% target by 2020. specifying that at least 20% of the 2015 target and 40% of the 2020 goal must be met from “non-food and feed-competing ” second generation biofuels or from cars running on green electricity and hydrogen”.  The Turmes report also specifies that traditional first-generation biofuels, made from crops such as sugar, rapeseed or corn, would only count towards the target if they meet strict sustainability criteria. This includes social sustainability criteria, including respect for the land rights of local communities or the fair remuneration of all workers, as well as an obligation for biofuels to offer at least 45% carbon emission savings compared to fossil fuels – a figure that would rise to 60% in 2015.  These figures are much higher than those originally proposed by the Commission (merely a 35% saving) and also more ambitious than those currently under consideration by national governments. Indeed, after months of infighting, member-state representatives appear to have found a consensus on a two-phased approach initially requiring biofuels to offer a 35% CO2 saving that would then be scaled up to “at least 50%” in 2017, subject to a review in 2014.  The final figure will be crucial to the industry as, typically, biodiesel made from European-grown rapeseed results in a greenhouse gas saving of 44% while the typical figure for ethanol made from EU sugar beet is 48%. 

Preferred access of renewables to the grid and penalties for Member States that do not reach interim targets are also included in the report. In addition measures were approved to increase the use of renewable energy in new buildings of over 1000 Sqm.