Pressure mounting on EU’s “reckless” biofuel policy
by David Masters
April 17, 2008
In the week when it has become a legal requirement for all UK vehicles to be powered by at least 2.5% biofuels, pressure is mounting on the European Union to scrap its biofuel policy.
Biofuels have been facing increasing levels of criticism after rising food prices have seen unrest across the world. Crops grown for biodiesel and ethanol are being blamed as the main culprits for the rising food prices.
The UK currently plans the up the amount of biofuel mixed in with standard fuels to 5% by 2010, on track to meet the EU’s target of 10% by 2020.
However, environmental and social justice campaigners are putting pressure on the EU to reconsider as the sustainability of biofuels becomes increasingly questionable.
Biofuel production can cause habitat loss, displacement of food production, and end up emitting more greenhouse gases than are being saved.
A worldwide famine has caused some campaigners to point out that biofuel production involves depriving starving children in the majority world of food to feed the rich world’s fuel addiction.
Greenpeace have gone so far as to denounce the UK biofuel initiative as “reckless”.
Following the criticism, the EU Environment Commissioner, Stavros Dimas has said that the issue of sustainability is of “crucial importance” and added that the goal of 10% biofuels must be subject to strict conditions.
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