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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

15 Apr 2009 04:04:03

Biofuels contributing to CO2 increase

Biofuels contributing to CO2 increase
A government policy to introduce biofuels in the UK to lower carbon emissions has actually served to increase CO2 output through deforestation, it has been claimed.

Biofuel supporters have argued that the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO), which was launched a year ago, has shown that it is viable to use sustainable fuels in Britain.

However, a new report from the Friends of the Earth suggests that the law, which requires that 2.5 percent of the transport sector's fuel comes from plant and waste products, do not take into account the pejorative effects of rainforest being cleared for biocrops to be planted.

The environmental campaign group estimated that this deforestation had contributed an extra 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere since last April, the same as adding 500,000 cars to the road.

Published on Wednesday April 15th, its findings come just as the government plans to raise the required amount of biofuel in petrol and diesel from 2.5 percent to 3.3 percent.

Friends of the Earth executive director Andy Atkins said: "Trying to cut emissions by adding biofuels to petrol is like trying to cut down on beer by lacing your pints with vodka."

Writing in American newspaper The Gainsville Sun this week, environmental expert Anna Autrey suggested that for alternative fuels to be viable, they must be produced in sufficient quantities to be economically competitive while also showing "superior environmental benefits".



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