In July 2013, MEPs agreed to cap biofuels, with legislation aimed at curbing the negative impact on the climate caused by land use change due to biofuel production. Displacement of food production and its consequences will also be considered. Biofuel is not carbon neutral, but until this year we’ve not been doing enough to recognise the actual impact of biofuel.
Climate change already puts pressure on the global food supply and food prices. Using agricultural land for fuel will only add to these problems. Putting crops into cars leads to rising food prices and rainforest destruction. Greens think that we should not be using food crops for fuel at all, or using arable land to grow fuel crops instead of food.
Overwhelming evidence shows that Europe's demand for biofuel accelerates the destruction of tropical rainforests. Green policy is very clear that we should not be exploiting the planet to the detriment of other species. We do not have the right to make other creatures extinct and destroy unique habitats just to put fuel in our cars. We need to recognise that we are part of fragile ecosystems and damage them at our peril. If compassion does not guide us to protect our environment, self-interest really should take us towards the same conclusions anyway.
Some biofuels can contribute to meeting part of our energy needs. Where biofuels are sourced as a waste material, or a bi-product of food production, their use may well make sense. This is mostly likely only relevant at a local scale – for example it makes sense to use waste cooking oil. Local innovations are going to be an important part of our long term fuel solutions, but with an expanding population to feed, we cannot afford to use farmland for fuel and we cannot afford the CO2 impact of replacing rainforests with biofuel crops either.
Ape Alliance campaign in the streets of Stroud most Saturdays, to draw attention to the impact biofuels are having on our ape cousins and raise awareness of other threats to apes and wildlife. http://www.4apes.com/ They are asking members of the public to write to their MP and MEP to request support for a moratorium on the EU Biofuel Directive and its targets and obligations guaranteed. Visit http://www.4apes.com/get-involved/campaigns for more information if you want to raise any of these issues.