For more than 15 years, the EU has been promoting the blending of biofuels with fossil diesel and petrol. Biofuels are primarily produced from food and feed crops, which are grown specifically for this purpose. Biodiesel is typically produced from rapeseed, soy or palm oil; for bioethanol, which is blended with petrol, wheat, rye,
maize and other types of grain as well as sugar beet and sugar cane are used.
Crop-based biofuels have been criticised for many years because their production competes with growing crops for food. The war in Ukraine and the resulting global food crisis have reignited the discussion about using crops for fuel instead of food. Several European countries are considering reducing crop biofuel use. The German government has announced its intention to completely phase-out the use of crop-based biofuels. The ongoing revision of the Renewable Energy Directive at EU level is an opportunity to end the use of food for fuel across Europe.
The biofuel industry is lobbying against these proposals, making various claims to support the continued use of crop biofuels. Many of them sound plausible at first, but do not stand up to scrutiny. With this comprehensive fact check, we would like to contribute data and facts to the public and political discussions regarding the use of food for fuel.