Food for oil?
EU admits biofuel target problems
The European Commission is re-thinking draft rules on reaching the EU's target to boost biofuels amid strong criticism by green campaign groups and development NGOs that the goal could lead to environmental damage and social dislocation.
The commission is due on 23 January to publish legislation on the production of biofuels, aimed at promoting the use of these alternatives to oil.
In March last year, EU leaders agreed that 10 percent of transport fuels should come from biofuels by 2020, a goal the commission is now turning into concrete legislation.
But even before making the legislation public, several expert reports have highlighted the possible negative consequences of the target.
Last Friday, a group of 17 NGOs - including Oxfam and Friends of the Earth - sent a letter to EU energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs, asking him to introduce much tougher standards for biofuel production or give up mandatory transport biofuel targets altogether.
They argued that the existing draft legislation does not provide protection for important ecosystems, such as savannas or permanent grasslands "that may be threatened by expanding agriculture to meet the EU's biofuel target."
"Destruction of these carbon sinks would lead to large emissions of carbon into the atmosphere, thereby reducing or neutralising the benefits from growing biofuels. Neither does the draft text provide any safeguards to protect water and soil resources," they said in a statement.
They also noted that "large scale biofuel production can cause negative indirect or knock-on impacts such as increasing food and feed prices and increasing water scarcity which would lead to negative impacts on the world's poor," in line with earlier studies by a number of experts on the issue.
It's like... NO SHIT SHERLOCK! When even the greens are beginning to protest about "Bio Fuel" then there has to be something utterly wrong with the whole concept. Not really a surprise for you and me, but the nuckle headed politicians still not get it! There is no way to get around the fact that using energy will produce CO2- in what ever fashion you try to do it...
Then there is the factor of increased poverty and famine in third world countrys. The risening of food prices in the west (an estimated 30% over the next couple of years) and of course the fact that the Orangutans soon will be extinct because of "bio fuel" production.
Let my brothers and sisters live!