The UK is pushing for discussions on cutting the amount of biofuel used globally by 10 per cent to be on the agenda at Sunday’s G7 summit.
But the Government could also act unilaterally to reduce the amount of crops used in British biofuels.
Dustin Benton, policy director at the Green Alliance and a former adviser on the Government’s food strategy, said reducing crop-based biofuels would almost certainly mean temporarily lifting the E10 requirement on forecourts, because the UK would not be able to pivot to alternative sources of biofuel quickly enough.
Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, is understood to be wary of the move because of the impact on vehicle emissions in the short-term. The move would have to be offset by a faster take-up of electric vehicles to avoid damaging the UK’s net zero ambitions.
Net zero policy ‘unviable’
The move would be the latest shift in the Government’s approach to net zero as it tackles the cost of living crisis.
On Thursday, Kwasi Kwarteng, the Business Secretary, said he would consider the case for fracking next week, after the results of a scientific review opened in the wake of the war in Ukraine.
He has also defended the development of a new gas field in the North Sea, arguing the need to be “realistic about our energy needs now”.
Steve Baker MP, a member of Net Zero Watch, said: “Once again we see that net zero policy is economically, socially and politically unviable.
“However much we desire to look after our environment, we also need to implement policies that stack up with reality.”
Environmental groups argue that moving away from fossil fuels is the only way for the UK to secure energy independence in the short-term and reduce energy costs.
Mr Benton said cutting the use of biofuel would not necessarily have a negative environmental impact.
“There’s a really easy solution here,” he said. “And that is to increase the pace at which we pick up electric vehicles, and of course, public transport, trains, all the rest of it.”