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From the U.K. Times Online:
Using fossil fuel in vehicles is better for the environment than so-called green fuels made from crops, according to a government study seen by The Times.
The findings show that the Department for Transport’s target for raising the level of biofuel in all fuel sold in Britain will result in millions of acres of forest being logged or burnt down and converted to plantations. The study, likely to force a review of the target, concludes that some of the most commonly-used biofuel crops fail to meet the minimum sustainability standard set by the European Commission.
It seems the act of clearing the forests and grasslands to create the farmland for green fuels crops releases major amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. Because of this, the study shows that palm oil, rape seed oil and soy all fail to meet the European Commission’s emissions reduction target. Even one environmentalist thinks the current biofuels are a waste of money:
Kenneth Richter, biofuels campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said: “The billions of subsidy for biofuels would be better spent on greener cars and improved public transport.”