Fleet News

Charities push for reduction in biofuel targets

The British Government and the European Commission are coming under intense pressure to revise downwards their biofuel targets.

The British Government had already said it is revisiting its pledge that 5% of transport fuel would be biofuels within two years.

The European Commission is still discussing an even tougher target of 10% by 2010.

The reviews come in light of mounting evidence showing the dubious environmental benefits associated with biofuel production.

In addition, world food prices have rocketed in recent months – a rise that is blamed in part on producers switching away from food crops and over to biofuel crops.

An emergency summit was held in Rome last week to discuss the problem, with charities calling for the 40 heads of state attending the summit to revise down US and EU biofuel targets.

"In countries where Oxfam works, we are seeing the negative impact of higher food prices on poor people, who already spend more than half their income on food," said CEO of Oxfam GB, Barbara Stocking.

"A priority is the urgent review of compulsory biofuels targets in rich countries to stop their inflationary impact.

"Recent estimates suggest that increased demand for biofuels accounts for 30% of recent food price rises, while mounting scientific evidence shows biofuels are having an overall negative impact on climate change.”

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