Biofuels are generally an expensive and ineffective way to cut greenhouse gas emissions when compared to other policies and are likely to cause increasing food prices and insecurity, concluded a UK government report yesterday. It also criticized the British and EU governments for pursuing targets for increased use of biofuels without putting in place ‘robust’ measures to prevent environmental damage.
The report comes as concern about the impact of biofuels on the environment and supply of staple food crops grows. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has repeatedly warned that biofuel production is partly responsible for rising food prices in recent months, threatening food security in developing countries in particular.
But EU policy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions says that 10 per cent of transport fuel should come from biofuels by 2020. Britain has a separate target of 5 per cent biofuels in petrol and diesel by 2010 through its Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), which is set to enter into force in April.
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