The German government’s environment ministry is working on a proposal to phase out the use of biofuels produced from food and feed crops by 2030, according to an Argus Media report.

The proposal came against a backdrop of rising food costs and declining supplies of agricultural products caused by the disruption of exports from main suppliers Ukraine and Russia, the report said, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February and the ongoing conflict.

A working paper released by the ministry proposed lowering the use of crop-based biofuels to comply with Germany's greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction quota to 2.5% in 2023, from 4.4% this year, Argus Media wrote on 17 May.

The cap would subsequently fall to 2.3% in 2024, 2.1% in 2025, 1.9% in 2026/27, 1.2% in 2028/29 and then to zero the following year.

To offset the reduction, the working paper suggested increasing the multiplier for electricity used to charge e-cars to four, from three currently, and the multiplier for the use of green hydrogen and PtX-fuels to three, from two.

In addition, the cap for waste-based biodiesel produced from used cooking oils (UCO) and animal fats could be lifted slightly, but no numbers were given in the working paper.

The paper also proposes extending the use of upstream emission reduction (UER) projects to 2028, from the current phase-out date of after 2026.

A slight reduction in the country's GHG quota would also be needed for the compliance years 2023 to 2026, the ministry's working group said.

The proposals were criticised by German biofuels association VDB, which said a reduction of the proportion of biofuels was not needed as ethanol producers generally used grain that was unsuitable for the food sector, and biodiesel producers had already cut back their production in favour of food production.

“The draft… is inflexible and unsuitable for addressing any problems with the availability of feedstocks,” VDB managing director Elmar Baumann said.