One of the main problems with the environmental debate is you just don’t know who to believe. For instance, the use of bio fuels has long been touted as a means to reduce carbon emissions as a result of standard fuel consumption. Not so, says the Environmental Audit Committee, as reported in today’s Times. According to their report, bio fuels can increase gas emissions and exacerbate climate change. The Committee’s views come 48 hours before the EU announces its Renewable Directive, expected to call for 10% of transport fuel to be from Bio sources.
A major concern is that forests are being cut down to accommodate “bio fuel” crops. Put into the number cruncher, here’s how the figures emerge.
264 million litres of bio fuel sold in UK alone in 2006 including
169 million litres of bio diesel
95 million litres of bio ethanol
40% - proportion of Europe’s land necessary to achieve 10% reduction in fossil fuel costs
49 billion litres of all types of fuel sold in 2006
0.54% of fuel sales by volume were bio fuels
20p – per litre fuel duty incentive to use bio diesel and bio ethanol until spring 2010
7% - proportion of worlds transport fuels that the International Energy Agency forecasts could come from bio fuels by 2030
800000 hectares of land in Britain expected to be given to bio fuel crops in 2010, rising to 1.1 million in 2020
Once again, the green debate degenerates into claim and counter claim. When will we ever get the definitive truth, and when we do will it be too late?
I wonder if any members of the Environment Audit Committee have links to the fuel industry? Perhaps something to look at for a future post!