Last update: 09.07.2011
Biofuel targets could undermine the environmental benefits
Source : independent.co.uk
Greenhouse gas savings are a key reason for the European Union's target for 10% of transport fuel to come from renewable energy by 2020. Member states' renewable energy plans indicate that nearly all of this quota will be in the form of biofuels. Biofuels have been criticised because of their industrial production methods. When governments classify land as "marginal" to justify its use for agro-industrial biofuel production, this deprives rural communities who depend on such land and nearby water supplies. An EU expansion in biofuel use will trigger widespread change in the use of land, especially in the southern hemisphere, thus undermining the supposed benefits from substituting biofuels for oil. EU policy justifies the target as essential to stimulate the development of second-generation biofuels. These are meant to unlock the energy potential of non-edible plant material, avoiding conflicts overlanduse and greenhouse emissions. But even if second-generation biofuels become commercially viable, they will not ease the commercial pressures extending agro-industrial monocultures and deforestation.
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11 April 2011 |
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Articles in the category 'Politics' (119 articles)
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