The European Union bans certain biofuel sources in draft law
Concluding that some biofuels are worse for the environment than traditional fuels, the EU has listed acceptable and unacceptable biofuels based on how they are made or what the are made from.
As reported by Jeremy Elton Jacquot of Los Angeles:
Amidst renewed fears over the impact of biofuels on the environment, which a recent Royal Society report warned could “do more harm than good,” the European Union has issued a draft law that would propose a ban on the imports of biofuels derived from crops grown on certain types of land — such as forests, wetlands and grasslands. It would also require them to deliver a — as yet undetermined — “minimum level of greenhouse gas savings.”
Palm oil is cited by many as a particularly insidious source of biofuel because of the unaccpetable environmental and societal costs it incurs.
The ban would particularly target environmentally harmful crops like palm oil, which Europe imports from Southeast Asia; it could also affect a few crops grown in Latin America, including soy, wheat and sugar beets. The decision to enforce a ban comes in the wake of a rash of studies that have downplayed or thoroughly discredited some of the more bullish claims made by biofuel producers.
We simply can’t embrace concepts that people claim are green, we have to be sure of the details in each case. The EU has made an important advance by using available reports like the Royal Society’s document to sort and judge the different sources of biofuels.
© James K. Bashkin, 2008