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Current biofuels policies are unethical, says report
Date:4/12/2011

e have developed these ethical principles with biofuels in mind, but we urge policy makers to use them as a checklist for all new technologies. Biofuels, if produced in an ethical way, have great potential to contribute to the energy mix, but they alone cannot solve our problems."

Biofuels currently make up 3% of UK road transport fuel and this is expected to increase. Most of the UK's biofuel comes from Argentina, Brazil and Europe. Last year, only a third met the environmental standards set by the UK's Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation.

Promising initiative

Recent amendments to European policy have attempted to raise the social and environmental standards of biofuels, but these are not widely enforced outside Europe. A promising global initiative is the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels. This independent organisation has set out voluntary standards for biofuels covering human rights, greenhouse gas emissions, conservation, and use of natural resources across the entire lifecycle of the biofuel.

"The standards set out by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels provide a good starting point for the international certification scheme for biofuels we are recommending," said Professor Tait.


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Contact: Catherine Joynson
cjoynson@nuffieldbioethics.org
44-020-768-19619
Nuffield Council on Bioethics
Source:Eurekalert

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