The European parliament's environment committee voted last week to limit the use of crop-based biofuels. The proposed limit of 5.5 percent of total transport fuel use would seek to ease the environmental damage thought to be caused by some biofuels, especially biodiesel, which accounts for more than two thirds of the EU's market. Recent studies have shown that biodiesel made from vegetable oils such as rapeseed oil, palm oil, and soy oil may do more damage to the environment than conventional diesel. Fuels made from cereal and sugar crops are thought to produce fewer carbon emissions, but biofuels produce more carbon than previously believed. First generation biofuels are considered a problem because they increase demand for crops, forcing forest clearing and peat land draining as food production gets displaced. The resulting land use changes might produce enough carbon emissions to cancel out any savings from biofuel. Producers warn the proposal would lead to plant closures and job losses, but environmental campaigners said the vote marked progress toward sustainable biofuels. The measure will be followed by a plenary vote, likely in September, and then require endorsement from deeply divided member states. For the full story, see