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Report challenges U.K. biofuel targets

Jan. 21, 2008 at 7:48 PM

LONDON, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- British members of Parliament are calling for a moratorium on biofuels targets.

Many members of Parliament are saying the U.K. and European governments should not have pursued targets to increase the use of biofuels without putting in place measures to prevent environmental damage, the Guardian reported.

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee said while it recognized that some biofuels are sustainable and could be used to reduce emissions from transport, the absence of sustainability standards could lead to environmental damage.

Supporters argue that biofuels can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but critics say biofuels compete for land with staple food crops and raise prices.

In its recently released report, the committee urged the government to ensure that its biofuels policy balanced greenhouse gas emission cuts with wider environmental impacts.

The report found that biofuels are generally an expensive and ineffective way to cut greenhouse gas emissions when compared with other policies, but Europe has pledged that biofuels, such as bioethanol and biodiesel, will make up 10 percent of transportation fuel by 2020, and Britain has a separate target of 5 percent biofuels in petrol and diesel by 2010.

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