European energy and environment ministers have stepped back from a controversial target on bio-fuels set by the EU.
The informal talks near Paris came against the backdrop of a newspaper article earlier in the week, claiming the drive for bio-fuels has sent global food prices rocketing by 75 per cent.
The EU wants 10 per cent of road fuel to come from renewable sources by 2020. But the French environment minister Jean-Louis Borloo said the EU had to clarify that it does not mean 10 per cent from bio-fuels alone, but could also include electric vehicles charged from green energy, or run on hydrogen.
By distancing themselves from biofuels, ministers have shown themselves aware of criticism that the target could be contributing to de-forestation and the world food crisis.
Germany’s minister questioned whether the quota could be kept. France and Italy have questioned the goal in recent weeks, and the UK is reviewing its own targets.