Representatives of the German federal states of Brandenburg and Lower Saxony have signed an agreement with Volkswagen AG on scientific and technical cooperation concerning the development and introduction of technologies for synthetic biomass fuel production. This agreement is based on the voluntary commitment of the Federal Republic of Germany to achieve a 25% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2005, compared to 1990. In addition, the European Union has called upon its member states to cover 12% of their overall energy consumption by means of renewable energy sources by the year 2010, but with the use of wind power, hydro-electric power and solar energy alone this target cannot be met in a cost-effective way.