Biofuels: Driving to destruction?
Increased demand for biofuels in the UK will see an area the size of Northern Ireland being converted to farmland overseas – and greenhouse gas emissions going through the roof.
That’s the conclusion of a new report commissioned by Friends of the Earth and 8 other organisations.
Fueling the fleet
The report shows biofuels could be powering nearly 10% of all transport by the end of the decade.
- Forests, grasslands and peat lands will be destroyed
as more land is given over to crop fields
- Increased climate emissions
as a result of burning and ploughing up natural habitats (equivalent to 6 million more cars).
- More hunger in poor countries
as less existing crop land is available to grow crops for human consumption
Biofuels in the fast lane
Responding to the report - Ministers admitted their biofuel policy is counter-productive. They acknowledge greenhouse gas emissions associated with biofuels are substantially greater than the potential savings.
The analysis is already consistent and robust in showing that ILUC ["indirect land use change"] represents a significant risk to achieving greenhouse gas savings from the use of some biofuels.
But the Government still plans to treble biofuel use by 2020.
The Government must account for emissions from deforestation when considering the impact of biofuels.
Email the Minister responsible, Norman Baker, today.
Driving to destruction
25 Nov, 2010 (PDF†) 1.274Mb
The impacts of Europe’s biofuel plans on carbon emissions and land