MEPs resist industry lobbying in biofuels and land use vote

Sinn Féin MEP, Martina Anderson a member of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted today in favour of a proposal on indirect land use change (ILUC) to biofuel production and the promotion of using energy from renewable sources.

Martina Anderson said:

“In spite of strong opposition from some industrial lobby groups, including many former government ministers from EU member states , MEPs have backed this positive environmentally friendly proposal.

“In the case of existing biofuels, EU production levels will continue to be capped at 5.5% of the final transport consumption rate in 2020. The share of energy from advanced biofuels will not be less than 2.5% of the final transport consumption of energy in 2020. Energy use from renewable sources will be encouraged and receive priority attention.

“It is very important that social and employment standards are maintained and the rights of citizens and local communities are protected and given priority consideration in land use change for the purposes of producing raw materials to be used in the production of biofuels and bio-liquids.

“The Commission has a duty to protect these rights by ensuring they are secured and recognised in transparent agreements. This is a clear and strong statement respecting developing countries’ rights that we take great satisfaction in having this proposal accepted by the ENVI committee.

“I find it distasteful however, to have high powered lobbyists , including former government Ministers from member states, disregarding the rights of indigenous people, local communities and national environmental concerns in order to satisfy the greed of multi-national conglomerates.

“It gives me no pleasure to acknowledge that former Irish government Ministers, particularly Former FF, Environment Minister, Dick Roche is heavily involved in this activity without due regard for the social and environmental damage that many of these multi-nationals leave in their trails.

“Of course Charlie McCreevy, another former Fianna Fáil Minister and Pat Cox, former Progressive Democrat MEP are also prominent among the hordes of highly paid corporate Lobbyists now operating in Europe in the interests of international corporations.

“But given Dick Roche’s environmental record in Ireland this is not surprising. Along with McCreevy and Cox they are now bringing the FF/PD ethos of greed to the corridors of Europe. Not satisfied with their exhorbitant pensions they are leading the revolving door brigade of former elected representatives using their status and insider knowledge and contacts to lobby on corporate matters for hefty rewards.”