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Biofuels: No sustainability in sight.
 10.06.2010 23:58:42
Biofuels No sustainability in sight

Commission announcement fails the green test

Brussels, June 10 - Commenting on the European Commissions Communication on new sustainability criteria for biofuels, Adrian Bebb, food and agriculture campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe said:

Europes policy on biofuels is inherently unsustainable. It is driving deforestation, damaging the environment, creating more greenhouse gas emissions, increasing hunger and encouraging rampant land-grabbing in the South. It will take a lot more than a few criteria and voluntary schemes to make them sustainable. The EU should abandon this folly and invest in genuine energy reductions in the transport sector.

The Communication attempts to clarify the sustainability criteria as part of the Renewable Energy Directive that sets a mandatory 10% target for renewable energy in transport, likely to be predominantly made up of biofuels. Although palm oil plantations are no longer defined as forests, a move welcomed by Friends of the Earth Europe, palm oil plantations remain environmentally destructive [1]. Recent research by the European Commission [2] concluded that if biofuels exceed 5.6% of Europes transport fuels, which is almost certain, then they will rapidly increase climate emissions and erode the environmental sustainability of biofuels.

Adrian Bebb, food and agriculture campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe said: Europes palm oil use is driving deforestation in countries like Malaysia, where profit is being put before both people and the planet with the resulting greenhouse gas emissions fuelling climate change rather than curbing it. All efforts should be made to prevent the use of palm oil in biofuels.


For more information, please contact:

Adrian Bebb, food and agriculture campaign coordinator for Friends of the Earth Europe,

Tel: +49 1609 490 1163, adrian.bebb@foeeurope.org

Sam Fleet, communications officer for Friends of the Earth Europe,

Tel: +32 2893 1012, samuel.fleet@foeeurope.org


[1] Report on deforestation as a result of palm oil development in Malaysia Too Green to be True - can be found here


[2] Global Trade and Environmental Impact Study of the EU Biofuels Mandate: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/analysis/chief-economist/


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