Biofuels debate continues
ISIS Press Release 11/12/06
Biofuels: Biodevastation, Hunger & False Carbon Credits
Europe’s thirst for biofuels is fuelling deforestation and food price hikes, exacerbated by a false accounting system that awards carbon credits to the carbon profligate nations. A mandatory certification scheme for biofuels is needed to protect the earth’s most sensitive forest ecosystems, to stabilise climate and to safeguard our food security.
[Dr. Mae-Wan Ho]
Biofuels not necessarily carbon neutral nor sustainable: Biofuels are fuels derived from crop plants, and include biomass directly burnt, and especially biodiesel from plant seed-oil, and bioethanol from fermenting grain, sap, grass, straw or wood  (Biofuels for Oil Addicts, SiS 30). Biofuels have been promoted and mistakenly perceived to be ‘carbon neutral’, that they do not add any greenhouse gas to the atmosphere; burning them simply returns to the atmosphere the carbon dioxide that the plants take out when they were growing in the field. This ignores the costs in carbon emissions and energy of the fertiliser and pesticides used for growing the crops, of farming implements, processing and refining, refinery plants, transport, and infrastructure for transport and distribution. The extra costs in energy and carbon emissions can be quite substantial particularly if the biofuels are made in one country and exported to another, or worse, if the raw materials, such as seed oils, are produced in one country to be refined for use in another. Both are very likely if current trends continue.
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