14 Jan 2008 05:01:27
EU announces plans for biofuel sustainability guidelines
A leading European Union (EU) politician has announced plans to review the organisation's guidelines regarding the sustainable production of biofuels.
Stavros Dimas, the EU's environment commissioner, told BBC Radio 4's 'Today' programme that, despite enthusiasm for biofuels as a low-carbon fuel alternative, concerns were growing about the sustainability of some of their sourcing.
In addition, he revealed that the body was aiming to review its criteria for the various sources of biofuels by the end of the month.
"There was a lot of enthusiasm a year and a half ago. Now that enthusiasm is going down," he told the broadcaster. "There are some benefits from biofuels."
"If we apply to sustainability criteria, one of them is that it is not coming from a country that is destroying the rainforest in order to produce sugar cane or palm oil in lands that were cleared from rainforests. We need a certificate to make clear this is not the case."
Last week, the UK Advertising Standards Authority criticised the Malaysian Palm Oil Council over claims it made in an advertisement relating to the sustainability of palm oil it produced for use in biofuels.