The European Parliament’s environment committee (ENVI) has voted to limit crop-based biofuels to no more than half the share of total biofuel use in transport and to phase out palm and soya-based biofuels by 2023, EU Bioenergy reported.

The committee also voted for an amendment recommending that primary woody biomass should no longer be subsidised and should largely be excluded from counting towards renewable energy targets, the report said.

Part of its revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), the committee made the announcements on 16 May.

The EU Parliament’s ITRE (energy) committee will also propose its own amendments to the RED this month, according to the 18 May report.

Any proposed amendments by the ENVI and ITRE would have to be approved by the Parliament’s plenary after the summer break, EU Bioenergy – an initiative of Birdlife Europe and Central Asia, informing about the impacts of bioenergy production in Europe – said.

Meanwhile, the European Council was also considering amendments to the RED, the report said, with the final outcome of the trialogue process, where Parliament and Council need to agree a final compromise, expected late in the year at the earliest.

Kenneth Richter, bioenergy policy officer for BirdLife Europe, said the environment committee’s vote was a positive first step towards restoring forests for climate and nature.

“This is a powerful signal that progressive EU law makers have understood that bioenergy from burning wood and crops is fuelling climate change and nature destruction and should no longer be supported by subsidies and other measures.”