The UK government’s chief scientific adviser has joined green lobby groups in asking the
European Union for reconsideration of the ruling that demands an increase in biofuel (fuel derived manly from crops high in sugar or starch) production. It says that mass production would have a devastating effect on vulnerable people’s livelihood, climate and biodiversity.
The European Union’s Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) demands fuel companies in all member states to add 2.5% biofuel to petrol and diesel by 15 April this year.
The UK’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) says the ruling also calls for petrol and diesel to comprise five per cent of biofuel by 2010 with proposed extension up to ten percent by 2020.
A coalition of NGO’s are urging Transport Minister Ruth Kelly (contact minister at: email@example.com) to delay the RFTO until the sustainability of biofuels can be proved or otherwise. They say the biofuel production has increased food crises as agricultural efforts and land is diverted from food production to growing crops.
A recent report from The Economist highlighted the huge fresh water consumption of
ethanol plans. It says a typical plant producing 50 million gallons of ethanol annual requires 500 gallons of water every minute.
Most environmentalists do not condemn biofuels globally. They life saving difference between the food crisis causing production of ethanol from corn, which the US is currently pursuing, and the relatively benign production of ethanol from sugarbeet plants, which Brazil is currently pursuing.