by Jerome a Paris
Wed Jun 21st, 2006 at 06:17:54 AM EST
The FT has a big article on biofuels today. It's behind a subwall, but I wanted to show you a couple of graphs and quotes...
“There is a great deal of risk that we just get stuck with a low corn blend [of biofuel mixed with petrol] and the corn ethanol industry walks away with billions of dollars in their pockets,” says [Roland Hwang, vehicle policy director for the New York-based Natural Resources Defense Council, a powerful US environmental group]
Peter Tjan, secretary-general of the European Petroleum Industry Association, an oil lobby group, says tariffs on imported biofuels show the motivation is not the one governments claim. “While there is a lot of discussion about doing it for climate or for security of supply, more and more it is becoming clear that the reason they want to do it is because they have a problem with the CAP [European Common Agricultural Policy subsidies] and need to help the farmers,” he says. “The reality is that this is driven very much by the farmers If you really are gung-ho about biofuels, let’s import them from developing countries.”
according to a study by Alexander Farrell of the University of California, Berkeley, published in Science magazine, today’s ethanol production processes cut overall greenhouse gas emissions by only about 13 per cent compared with petrol. In Brussels the Commission has found that the standard production methods for sugar-beet ethanol in Europe reduced global warming emissions by a “modest” one-third compared with petrol.
The Commission’s study concludes that home-grown biofuels are an expensive way to cut emissions: “More greenhouse gas could be saved for the same money in other sectors,” it says.