A bad day for the climate as biofuel legislation kicks in

Posted by jamie — 15 April 2008 at 6:39pm - Comments

So, today the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) comes into effect and we'll all be using more biofuels as a result. Regular readers will know that this exciting piece of legislation will see 2.5 per cent of our petrol and diesel coming from food crops, and that we have been asking everyone to send emails to transport secretary Ruth Kelly asking her to postpone the RTFO. Now we need to see that she abandons so if you haven't expressed your concern about this already, you can still do so.

New biofuels law "incredibly reckless" - Greenpeace

Last edited 14 April 2008 at 2:41pm

Plan is too weak to stop environmentally damaging crops being pumped into British tanks

14 April, 2008

The introduction of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) tomorrow could seriously undermine the UK's claim to leadership on climate change and increase emissions from the transport sector, according to Greenpeace.

The group claims that new rules to oblige motorists to pump biofuels into their tanks will drive rainforest destruction and could actually accelerate global warming.

Help mark April Biofool's Day

Posted by jamie — 8 April 2008 at 12:21pm - Comments

We had Fossil Fool's Day last week with plenty of action around the country to highlight the dangers posed by coal, but the dreadful punning doesn't stop there. Continuing the theme, next Tuesday is April Biofool's Day which admittedly falls on the 15th rather than the 1st, but that's because the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) - which will overnight increase our consumption of biofuels - begins to make its presence felt.

On the day, the good folks at Biofuelwatch and the Campaign against Climate Change are organising a protest outside the home of a certain Mr Gordon Brown, Number 10 Downing Street. You can join the crowds outside Number 10 from 6pm and further details are on the websites of both organisations. If you can't get there, you can still do something - write to transport secretary Ruth Kelly with your concerns about this rush towards biofuels.

Meanwhile, concerns about biofuels are rising up the political ladder, as last week UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon called for a review on global biofuel policies. Our government currently has the indirect impacts with biofuels under review but the results aren't due for some time, and certainly not before Biofool's Day next week.

Letter to Ruth Kelly regarding biofuels and the RTFO

Last edited 24 March 2008 at 4:07pm
Publication date: 
24 March, 2008

A coalition of some of Britain's biggest environmental and development groups has warned the Government that its biofuel policy risks doing more harm than good in the fight against climate change and global poverty. The organisations are demanding that ministers delay the introduction of legislation which would see biofuels pumped into every tank in the country from April 15th 2008. 

Download the report:

Leading environmental and development groups attack government's biofuel plans

Last edited 24 March 2008 at 10:34am

NGOs echo words of top DEFRA scientist and demand biofuel obligation be postponed

24 March, 2008

A coalition of some of Britain's biggest environmental and development groups have sent a joint letter (1) to Government warning that the UK's biofuel policy risks doing more harm than good in the fight against climate change and global poverty.

The intervention intensifies pressure on the Government following a BBC interview in which Professor Bob Watson, DEFRA's chief scientific advisor, cast serious doubt on the plans and insisted that it would be "insane" if the policy ended up having the opposite effect to the one intended. (2)

Problems at the pump as new biofuel law draws closer

Posted by jamie — 24 March 2008 at 10:00am - Comments

A car speeding along a road

In a few weeks' time on Tuesday 15 April, every fuel company in the UK will be obliged to include a certain amount of biofuel in their petrol and diesel supplies. This is because, to comply with EU policies, the government has decreed we will all be using biofuels whether we want to or not but as you're probably aware, a lot of people have severe concerns about this.

Government announces major biofuel review - Greenpeace responds

Last edited 21 February 2008 at 4:04pm
21 February, 2008

Greenpeace today welcomed the government's announcement of a scientific review into the impacts of biofuels, but insisted that Britain's biofuel targets be suspended until the full consequences of the technology are properly understood.

The study, to be conducted by the UK's new Renewable Fuels Agency (1), will look both at the immediate impact of biofuels and at so-called "indirect effects".

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.

EU biofuels policy thrown into doubt as commissioner admits: targets may be missed

Last edited 14 January 2008 at 4:57pm
14 January, 2008

The environmental credentials of "first generation" biofuels were today thrown into serious doubt after the European commissioner, DEFRA's chief scientist and the Royal Society all expressed concern over their sustainability and effectiveness.

Last edited 1 January 1970 at 1:00am

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