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Enjoy the confusion

Posted by Richard Monday, April 14, 2008 , ,

The European Environment Agency is telling the EU that it must suspend its target of raising the share of biofuels in transport to ten percent until a more comprehensive scientific study on their environmental risks is carried out.

Although the commission's draft directive introduces a range of "sustainability criteria" for biofuels, the EEA thinks that the EU's mandatory ten percent biofuel quota is an "overambitious […] experiment, whose unintended effects are difficult to predict and difficult to control". It therefore "recommends suspending the goal" until a "new, comprehensive scientific study on the environmental risks and benefits of biofuels" is carried out, with the aim of setting "a new and more moderate long-term target".

To add insult to injury, the EEA argues that biofuel production for vehicles based on first-generation technologies – produced from food and feed crops – "does not optimally use biomass resources with regard to fossil energy saving and to greenhouse gas reduction". It also warns that the amount of land required to meet the target exceeds that available in the EU without harming the environment.

While imports can help, it points to the "accelerated destruction of rain forests" that can already be witnessed in some developing countries due to increased biofuel production.

Now, considering how obvious all that was right from the start, you would think that all these Rolls-Royce (Mercedes?) minds in the commission might have worked it out before they committed to something which is so obviously off the rails. But then, us mere mortals cannot possibly be expected to understand the higher realms of policy, where quite clearly, the normal rules of common sense cannot apply.

We should just count ourselves as fortunate that we have such gifted people looking after our interests.

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