More doubts raised over biofuel targets

Posted by jamie — 21 January 2008 at 5:52pm - Comments

Yet more questions have been raised in political circles about biofuel targets. Following last week's statements from the European environment commissioner, Defra's chief scientist and the Royal Society, a parliamentary committee has released its own report which says that pursuing mandatory targets without any form of sustainability criteria attached is not a good idea.

The Environmental Audit Committee - a group of MPs which assesses the impact of government policies on the environment - has said that "the government and EU should not have pursued targets to increase the use of biofuels in the absence of robust sustainability standards and mechanisms to prevent damaging land use change."

This chimes with our stance: that biofuel targets, expected to be brought in from April, should be delayed until we can be sure that 'green' fuels aren't doing more harm than good. Without credible sustainability standards, the rush towards biofuels as a solution to climate change could increase greenhouse gas emissions instead of decreasing them, and their production puts rainforests and biodiversity under threat.

Tim Yeo MP, chair of the committee, also added:

"The government must ensure that its biofuels policy balances greenhouse gas emission cuts with wider environmental impacts, so that biofuels are only used where they contribute to sustainable emissions reductions... the absence of international mechanisms to protect rainforests means that biofuels will add further to the already significant pressures to cut them down to make way for palm oil plantations."

More in the Guardian.

About Jamie

I'm a forests campaigner working mainly on Indonesia. My personal mumblings can be found @shrinkydinky.

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