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Scrap biofuels target, say Friends of the Earth and OECD

News

11th September, 2007

The backlash against large scale biofuel production continues to build as Friends of the Earth urges the European Union to scrap its target for 10 per cent of transport fuel to come from crops by 2020.

The call comes on the back of a leaked document from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which was intended as briefing paper for today's EU Roundtable on Sustainable Development.

The document states that not only could the impact of biofuels be even worse than that of petrol and diesel, but that natural resources such as wetlands and pasture will be lost and food prices will rise for the next ten years.

The OECD recommend that governments phase out their current support for biofuels, and that more attention should be focussed on energy efficiency.

In an unlikely alliance, Friends of the Earth have backed the OECD's requests. Adrian Bebb, Agrofuels Campaign Coordinator for Friends of the Earth Europe, said:
'Hurtling headfirst down the agrofuels path will be a big mistake, and the OECD is the latest of a series of respected international bodies to warn against it. The EU risks stimulating further destruction and poverty in developing countries if it sticks with its current agrofuels target.'

He described biofuels as a 'false substitute', and that resources should be ploughed into increasing vehicle efficiency.

This article first appeared in the Ecologist September 2007

 

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