Tag Archives: biofuels

Farron, Huppert & Sanders say: Time to take a tough stand on biofuels

Biofuel BusIt’s World Food Day and Tim Farron, Julian Huppert and Adrian Sanders have joined Zac Goldsmith, Caroline Lucas and other MPs in a joint letter to the Guardian to condemn EU policy on biofuels.

Taking land out of food production – which is increasingly happening in Africa – pushes up global food prices, while bringing new land into production leads to drained wetlands, ploughed-up grasslands and razed forests.

The writers are concerned that first generation biofuels, crops like wheat and oilseed rape, are being used for transport fuel. These crops are an essential food for a rapidly expanding global population. The letter gives a blunt message to the European Union, which is currently debating the cap on biofuel use in transport fuel.

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Julian Huppert writes… Ending food-crop-based first-generation biofuels

The issue of food being used for fuel has become increasingly contentious. And decisions are fast approaching – in the European Parliament Liberal Democrat MEP colleagues are currently negotiating capping the use of damaging biofuels. Norman Baker, Liberal Democrat Transport Minister will also be taking up the issue in the Council of Ministers.

While first generation biofuels were lauded as the future it is now clear they cause more problems than they solve. The UK’s Gallagher Review in 2010 in fact concluded that in some cases biofuels can generate a higher carbon footprint than fossil fuels and contribute to deforestation. Subsidies …

Posted in Op-eds | 22 Comments

Vince Cable opens massive biofuels plant

bioethanol-plantFor a picture of Vince Cable in a hard hat and hi vis clothing, check out the Yorkshire Post.  He was opening a £350 million bio-fuels plant in Humberside, one of the largest in Europe.

The plant converts animal quality wheat into bioethanol which is then added to petrol to produce a greener fuel. This is in an area which has been described as the ‘wheat belt’ of the UK.

Vince Cable is quoted as saying:

Here we are turning an agricultural product potentially into very good fuel, blending for motor vehicles, creating environmentally

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Duncan Hames MP writes… Must we continue to use food for fuel?

The European Union is currently committed to ensuring that 10% of each Member State’s transport energy will come from biofuels by 2020. This originated as a well-intentioned attempt to combat climate change, but time has shown that using food for fuel can have devastating impacts on hunger and the environment. I’ve come to accept that it is time for a re-think.

In addition to concerns over their green credentials, biofuels are now recognised to be a key cause of hunger, affecting millions of people in developing countries. The World Bank, OECD, WTO, IFPRI, IMF, and five other UN agencies recommended …

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The Independent View: Fill your 4 x 4 with biofuel, or feed an African child for 200 days?

From time to time the solution to a problem ends up being worse than the original dilemma. Such is the case with making fuel from food crops – biofuels – in place of burning fossil fuels. What started off as such a well-intentioned idea to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has ended up not only doing the opposite, but also contributing to world food price rises and driving poor people off their land in developing countries and into hunger.

But as the tide turns against biofuels, there are sustainable alternatives which can take their place. And that’s where the Lib

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

The Independent View: Controversy surrounding biofuels continues to mount

Josie Cohen is Campaigns Officer at ActionAid UK and writes about their biofuels campaign:

The controversy surrounding biofuels has been hotting up over the last few weeks, reaching its peak when a comment from a top official within the European Commission was leaked.

Picked up originally by Reuters, the senior official warned that taking full account of the carbon footprint of biofuels would ‘kill’ an EU industry with revenues of approximately $5 billion per year. You would have thought that this revelation would be enough for the EU to put the brakes on the current expansion of biofuel production which, after all, …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged and | 4 Comments
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