European biofuel plans called 'flawed'

Oct. 7, 2011 at 12:36 PM
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BRUSSELS, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- European Union biofuel targets have been condemned by scientists who say the EU view of biofuels as carbon-neutral is "not supported by the science."

More than 100 scientists and economists have written to the European Commission arguing that assigning biofuels a zero or "carbon-neutral" emissions value "is clearly not supported by the [best available] science" and that "the European Union's target for renewable energy in transport may fail to deliver genuine carbon savings in the real world," The Guardian newspaper reported Friday.

Displaced human activity caused by converting forests and grasslands to biofuels production can result in "substantial" CO2 emissions, the scientists said.

"All the studies of land-use change indicate that the emissions related to biofuels expansion are significant and can be quite large," their letter to the commission said, arguing the EU targets are based on "flawed" assumptions.

"It could end up as merely an exercise on paper that promotes widespread deforestation and higher food prices," they said.

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