Growing pressure to change EU biofuel policy
Source : europeanvoice.com
Hopes that plants could help Europe wean itself off its dependency on oil have been given a serious dent as the consequences of using land for biofuel become clearer. Powering cars with plants once seemed like an unstoppable idea. Biofuel was sold as a way to reduce Europe's oil dependency on autocratic regimes, meet climate-change targets and help Europe's struggling farmers. But since the European Union agreed laws to promote biofuel, doubts have sprouted like weeds. Now it looks increasingly likely that the EU will have to rewrite bioenergy laws to guard against their unintended consequences. The problem that early biofuel enthusiasts did not anticipate was that every change in the natural world has a ripple effect somewhere else. A farmer may decide to sell 100 hectares of corn to a biorefinery instead of to a miller. With no change in land use, the greenhouse-gas emissions caused by the farming activity appear to be the same. The problem arises because the demand for that 100 hectares of food corn has not gone away.
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2 May 2011 |
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