28 Apr 2008 11:04:19
Trade commissioner: Environmentally-friendly biofuel production encouraged
It is important to target "the right biofuels" when considering the future of biofuel production, the European Union (EU) trade commissioner has said.
Peter Mandelson stressed that this is important in order to make sure that biofuel production will not adversely affect global food supplies and told the Sunday Live programme on Sky News that it is important to maintain a balance in agricultural production.
"I mean the switch in agricultural production in some countries from food to fuel is not creating a huge impact, but it could do in the future and that's why we have got to be cautious," he stated.
Mr Mandelson refuted claims from some experts, who have indicated that a growing demand for biofuels and land which is needed to produce them could be driving up the costs of basic foods.
He stated that while it is an important issue to watch, the best way to address the situation is to make sure the production of "environmentally unfriendly biofuels" is discouraged.
AFP reported today that Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has downplayed claims that biofuel production is the cause of rising food prices.
Sugar-based biofuels produced in the country have previously been suggested as a cause for the price surges.