The European Commission has reiterated its support for increased biofuels and has set "binding targets" for their production across the continent.

In a wide-ranging renewable energy package announced yesterday (23 January), the Commission has laid out plans for 10% of all vehicle fuel in the EU to come from biofuels by 2020.

The target is part of a wider directive for renewable energy sources to account for a fifth of all energy consumption by 2020.

"The minimum 10% share of biofuels in transport is applicable in all member states," the Commission said. "Biofuels tackle the oil dependence of the transport sector, which is one of the most serious issues affecting security of energy supply that the EU faces."

Governments on both sides of the Atlantic have come under fire for pursuing targets on biofuels. Earlier this week, a group of UK politicians issued a report claiming that biofuels production damages the environment and could lead to higher food prices, as corn is taken out of food production.

The Commission acknowledged what it dubbed as "concerns" over the sustainability of biofuels production as "legitimate".

It said its directive "sets out stringent environmental sustainability criteria to ensure that biofuels that are to count towards the European targets are sustainable and that they are not in conflict with our overall environmental goals".