Biofuel target 'counter-productive'

* European Commission warned * Biofuel goals may cause problems * Wide-ranging repercussions of biofuel use...

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Jim Holder
21 April 2008

Biofuel target 'counter-productive'

The European Commission has been urged to be cautious in pushing ahead with its plans to have 10% of transport fuel made from biofuels.

The plea was made by Derek Osborn, chairman of the Sustainable Development Observatory. He warned that using biofuels could be counter-productive, because vast areas of forests are being cleared to grow the crops needed to make biofuels.

His comments come just one week after the Government made it mandatory for all forecourt fuels to contain 2.5% biofuel, rising to 5% by 2010.

Egardo Iozia of the European Ecomonic and Social Committee added: 'The Commission underestimated the complexity of the issue when the 10% target was proposed.

'Now we have to take the time to step back and make a thorough analysis of where we want to go, knowing that the choices we make will have repercussions for agriculture, energy use, the environment and society.'