EU takes note of negative impacts of biofuel, plans policy change

Published: Friday 15 February 2008

the European Union is planning to ban certain biofuels, saying their social and environmental impacts are dangerous. eu is likely to review its draft policy on biofuels to effect the ban.

The proposed ban will affect import of palm oil from southeast Asia, and soya and ethanol from Latin America. eu's environment commissioner Stavros Dimas spoke about these concerns on January 14--days before it finalizes the biofuel policy.

In March last year, eu had set a goal to replace 10 per cent of its road transport fuel by biofuel. Several environmental groups have raised concerns over the consequences of achieving the goal. On January 9, 2008, a coalition of 17 ngos wrote to the eu's energy commissioner Andreas Piebalgs, saying "the current draft does not ensure that the production of biofuels will be sustainable". They said the biofuel drive would trigger deforestation, rise in food prices and water scarcity and urged eu to improve the draft policy. Friends of the Earth Europe, part of the 17 member coalition, has even called for a moratorium on eu's targets. A recently released study by The Royal Society of uk also said biofuels might not help cut emissions; could damage environment.

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