Not long ago, biofuels were vigorously pushed with great enthusiasm and urgency by environmentalist groups, for example Greenpeace here:
Instead of cutting tax on fuels that wreck the climate, Gordon Brown should use this week’s budget to boost genuine green fuels like biodiesel, hydrogen and green electricity.
And Greenpeace here:
Although the plant-based fuel is not pollution-free, it is significantly cleaner than its petro equivalent and causes just half the damage to the climate.
Or take a look at this April 2007 Greenpeace Fact Sheet here. And so it was with many environmental groups.
And as a result, governments, pressured by the enviro-groups, and ever so eager to rescue the planet from the imminent climate catastrophe, went hog wild implementing programs and subsidies to launch the biofuels boom. The targets were ambitious.
By 2020 9.5% of Europe’s demand for fuel by its transportation sector would be supplied by biofuels made from climate-friendly sources like oilseed, palm oil, sugar cane or sugar beet. It became a boom for Europe’s agriculture. Thousands of farmers have since invested heavily in new agricultural machinery.
The race to be the greenest in Europe, and the whole world, was on. The science of global warming was settled after all, and biofuels were a big part of the answer. Europe would lead the way in the planet’s rescue and be the hero.
Things have since gone terribly wrong.
Now, it turns out, according to the newest study (by the very groups that spurred the madness on to begin with), Europe’s targets are going to have the opposite effect on the planet. Fulfilling its biofuels plan will mean converting 69,000 square km of forests into agricultural land – that’s an area twice the size of Belgium.
Not surprisingly, few bothered to question the science behind global warming and the possible impacts biofuels would have on the earth’s ecosystems and food markets. Those who did, were vilified and slapped down. Us sceptics are all too familiar with that.
Today the German online Mananger Magazine reports here:
According to a new study, the planned expansion of agricultural land for biolfuel will damage the climate more than the fossil energies they are supposed to replace. Millions of tonnes more CO2 have been released as a result.
Manager Magazine writes that nine major environmental organisations have commented on a new study put out by the London-based Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) saying biofuels will produce far more CO2 instead of less.
The growing use of biofuels in Europe will lead to an increase in climate damaging CO2 emissions because huge tracts of land will have to be transformed into agricultural crop fields worldwide to supply the needed biofuel.
IEEP researchers studied the official renewable energy plans of the 23 EU member countries up to 2020. Germany will be mixing 5.5 million tonnes of biofuel with its gasoline and diesel fuel.
As a result this means that annually up to 56 million tonnes of CO2 will emitted. That equals an additional 12 to 26 million cars on Europe’s streets.
A far more damning commentary appears here at the European Voice:
The next time Europe comes up with an idea to save the planet – run!!