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Biofuel scheme slammed

Thursday 17 April 2008

car emissionsThe use of biofuels in the UK’s petrol supplies, introduced this week as part of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), has been described as ‘incredibly reckless’ and a potential accelerant to climate change, despite its eco-friendly aims.

Although initially heralded as a breakthrough green fuel technology, biofuel has been put under the spotlight in the last couple of years as potentially destructive due to its production methods in certain regions. Critics argue that a large-scale demand for biofuel is leading to indiscriminate deforestation, something that existing regulations on the issue do not guard against.

“Right now, rainforests are being destroyed to make way for biofuel crops in places like Indonesia. This destruction leads to massive greenhouse gas emissions and completely undermines the point of these so-called ‘green’ fuels,” said Belinda Fletcher, Greenpeace Senior Forests campaigner. “At a time when the world’s leading scientists are warning us of the madness of cutting down rainforests to grow crops for fuel, to press ahead with these plans is incredibly reckless.”

“Most people will be horrified to know the Government is putting biofuels in our petrol when the damage they do to forests could make climate change worse,” commented Kenneth Richter, Friends of the Earth’s Biofuels campaigner. “People want to see real green transport solutions that make a difference to their lives instead – like better public transport and smarter cars that burn less fuel.”

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