Biofuel policy needs rethink, says UN expert

November 25, 2011
A man displays Jatropha seeds, which produce an oil that can be used as a diesel oil substitution, in Cote d'Ivoire in 2008. The UN special rapporteur on the right to food urged the EU for a rethink on biofuels Friday, saying huge errors had been committed in the initial enthusiasm for an alternative to harmful fossil fuels.

The UN special rapporteur on the right to food urged the EU for a rethink on biofuels Friday, saying huge errors had been committed in the initial enthusiasm for an alternative to harmful fossil fuels.

"The more biofuels the EU produces, the more it will be forced to import from the rest of the world," said Olivier De Schutter.

As the European Commission prepares to release a report on the question early next year, the UN expert admitted it would be difficult to turn back given the huge investments made by farmers attracted by pledges of a booming market.

With the European Union committed to producing 10 percent of its energy in renewables by 2020, massive investments have also been made in buying land in Africa to produce sugar or for biofuels.

"We may have to fundamentally rethink this policy," he said at a Brussels press conference.

Officials, experts and scientists were increasingly underlining errors made in the past few years in backing biofuels.

Headlined as a magic solution to global warming, it was now surfacing that biofuels "are not an efficient way of reducing ," he said.

Explore further: EU sets tight biofuel standards

Related Stories

EU sets tight biofuel standards

June 10, 2010

(AP) -- The European Union's top energy official set out tough standards for producing biofuels sold in the EU, demanding producers meet strict environmental criteria.

Kenya biofuel project opposed

March 23, 2011

Environmental goups Wednesday protested an expansive project to grow jatropha in Kenya for biofuels, arguing that such production would emit more carbon than fossil fuels.

Current biofuels policies are unethical, says UK report

April 13, 2011

Current UK and European policies on biofuels encourage unethical practices, says a report by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics today following an 18-month inquiry. Policies such as the European Renewable Energy Directive ...

British government to require biofuels

November 7, 2005

The British government will reportedly soon require oil companies to blend a fixed proportion of biofuels into the gasoline and diesel fuel they produce.

Biodiesel won't drive down global warming

April 23, 2007

EU legislation to promote the uptake of biodiesel will not make any difference to global warming, and could potentially result in greater emissions of greenhouse gases than from conventional petroleum derived diesel. This ...

Biofuels from the sea

July 4, 2011

Seaweed may prove a viable future biofuel – especially if harvested in summer.

Recommended for you

Privacy becomes a selling point at tech show

January 7, 2019

Apple is not among the exhibitors at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, but that didn't prevent the iPhone maker from sending a message to attendees on a large billboard.

China's Huawei unveils chip for global big data market

January 7, 2019

Huawei Technologies Ltd. showed off a new processor chip for data centers and cloud computing Monday, expanding into new and growing markets despite Western warnings the company might be a security risk.

8 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

iiibogdan
not rated yet Nov 25, 2011
I think the biomass of the land is to precious to waste on making fuel that you could make in "n" other ways.
Callippo
2 / 5 (4) Nov 25, 2011
The biofuels would be harmful for life environment even without cold fusion. With it they're just a dangerous nonsense.

http://www.physor...800.html
Grizzled
1 / 5 (1) Nov 26, 2011
That was alway clear. But Greens had to have their way. And enough simpletons bought into tne idea.
Skepticus_Rex
1 / 5 (1) Nov 26, 2011
Headlined as a magic solution to global warming, it was now surfacing that biofuels "are not an efficient way of reducing greenhouse gases," he said.


Took them long enough! I've been saying this for years. Most of these so-called biofuels actually spew out more carbon than petrol/gasoline. It is yet another case of destroying the planet to save it because people just did not think things through.
Nerdyguy
1 / 5 (1) Nov 27, 2011
"Biofuel policy needs rethink, says UN expert"

"No duh!" says anyone who has witnessed the results of throwing money at this.
Nerdyguy
3 / 5 (2) Nov 27, 2011
The economic collapse of America provides a fine example of the complete failure of Conservative Economic theory.


There you go again, making up crapola sandwiches because you just like the way they taste. Nicely done!
FrankHerbert
0.7 / 5 (52) Nov 27, 2011
What, no conservatives flying off the handle at the UN's "right to food"? That must have slipped by them. Maybe their precious bodily fluids have finally been tainted and they no longer possess their keen sense of hatred.
FrankHerbert
0.7 / 5 (48) Dec 06, 2011
Stay away from the vodka! It'll harm your precious fluids!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.