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The German government is set to introduce proposals to curb the use of crop-based biofuels in the country, AgriCensus reported.

Germany’s federal environment minister Steffi Lemke, who is a member of the Green Party in the country’s centre-left three-party coalition with the Social Democrats and Free Democrats, announced the move on 17 January, the report on the same date said.

The European Union’s (EU)’s biggest member state in terms of fuel consumption, the country is a major producer of ethanol and biodiesel from edible crops such as sugar beet, wheat and rapeseed.

The proposals followed reports in the second quarter of last year that Germany would introduce a strict cap on the use of crop-based biofuels due to food price inflation heightened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the report, and were likely to alarm the country’s agriculture and crop-based biofuels sectors,

“I would like us to increase the use of real biofuels from waste, from residues, from cooking oil. Here we still have potential and opportunities to ensure that the greenhouse gas quota in transport can be met. That is why we will introduce the legal basis for phasing out agrofuels from food and feed crops into the Cabinet as soon as possible,” Lemke was quoted as saying at an agricultural conference organised by her ministry, known in Germany by the initials BMUV.

From the start of this year, Germany banned the use of palm oil in biodiesel, a decision that had been made in 2021 by the previous government.

In her speech, Lemke said the country needed a major rethink of agriculture and biofuels policies due to the rise in prices for edible commodities such as corn, vegetable oils and wheat during the past year, which had been worsened by the war in Ukraine and further heightened by environmental factors such as extreme weather and pollution.

“The weaknesses of the existing agricultural and food system have become more apparent than ever before – especially in the hot droughts. The three major global ecological crises: climate crisis, species extinction and pollution crisis are now endangering the foundations of agriculture and our food,” Lemke added.

Lemke did not mention specific proposals in her speech, AgriCensus wrote.

However, a document drawn up by BMUV and widely circulated last May included proposals to reduce the share of crop-based biofuels in the country’s fuel pool to 2.5% in 2023 and to zero by 2030, the report said.

To help mitigate the impact of the lowered crop cap, the document recommended that “quantities of waste-based biofuels from used cooking oils and animal fats that are not recycled are slightly increased”.