Biofuels - Handle With Care
"This report follows the adoption, at the end of 2008, of the European Union’s mandatory 10% renewable energy target for transport, to be reached by 2020. It attempts to assess the environmental implications of that policy. Its key finding is that if the target is, as is widely accepted, almost completely to be met through the use of biofuels, it is highly unlikely to be met sustainably. In short, there is a very substantial risk that current policy will cause more harm than good. One of the most important reasons for this is the failure to account for the environmental impact of indirect land use change (ILUC). When agricultural land is converted for biofuel production, land elsewhere will be converted for agriculture, releasing lots of CO2 emissions, hence the term ‘indirect’ land use change. Assessing the impact of ILUC and incorporating it in biofuels policy is critically important to ensuring biofuels really do reduce carbon emissions and do not indirectly increase them."