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(May 02, 2008) On April 4, 2008, Sigmar Gabriel, the Federal Environmental Minister of Germany, withdrew a controversial draft regulation that contained strict sustainability criteria for biofuels and that would have increased the required percentage of biofuel in gasoline for motor vehicles from the current five percent (Biokraftstoffquotengesetz, Dec. 18, 2006, BUNDESGESETZBLATT I at 3180) to ten percent (Bundesumweltminister stoppt Biosprit-Verordnung, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conversation and Nuclear Safety official Web site (last visited Apr. 30, 2008)).

Originally, the German regulation had been drafted to comply with the European Union goal of increasing to 10 percent by 2020 the percentage of biofuels in the motor vehicle fuels market (Commission of the European Communities, Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Promotion of the Use of Energy, Jan. 23, 2008, available at the European Commission official Web site, http://ec.europa.eu/commission_barroso/president/focus/energy-package-2008/
index_en.htm#key
). The German rationale for abandoning the plans for speedy implementation of the proposed EU requirements is twofold. First, the larger amount of biofuel in gasoline would have required many consumers to buy new automobiles; second, there is growing apprehension in Germany over the sustainability of biofuel imports from third-world countries where biofuel production competes with the growing of food crops. According to the Ministry for the Environment, more research is needed to ensure that the only biofuels that will qualify are truly environmentally beneficial.

Author: Edith Palmer More by this author
Topic: Energy More on this topic
Jurisdiction: Germany More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 05/02/2008