Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Letter to EU Environment Committee

by Nomad Mon Sep 11th, 2006 at 06:09:34 AM EST

This is typical how these things go...

In today's Breakfast, I posted a brief clipping on the REACH legislation, which is a work in progress in Brussels. It's an admirable project, and of absolutely nill importance right now.

Because, somehow, we ended up with the idea to write some e-mails to the Committee of Environment, Public Health and and Food Safety since they will table this Draft version with these amendments in their next meeting on 13/09. That is: coming Wednesday.

Why is this interesting for us? Because it is closely linked to ET's project, courageously managed by afew, to formulate a response on the EU policy on Biofuels.

The idea here is, in Migeru's words, to create a LTE-like diary and pitch in with comments to formulate a common position. Then we can sign it with boffin signatures, send it off, feel all important and have a beer.

So. This diary should evolve as the day progresses. Feel free to pitch in.


I've set up another Writeboard for those with itchy fingers to outline a first response:

http://123.writeboard.com/5e4f1563201b96997
Password: waffle

Also: this is the man who drafted the text.

[Update]: This is the final draft of our letter, with mucho thanks to afew and migeru:

Dear Sir,

It has come to our attention that the Committee for Environment, Public Health and Food Safety will address the “Strategy on Biomass and Biofuels” at its meeting scheduled for September 13.

Using the committee’s website we have been able to read both the Draft Opinion as drafted by Mr. Aylward and amendments 1-39. We appreciate the direct communication with European citizens made possible by your website, and sincerely hope this will continue in the future.

While not fundamentally opposing the Suggestions presented in the Draft Opinion on a European Strategy for Biofuels, we would like to stress the following points :

* in the event of the introduction of mandatory targets for biofuel use, domestic first-generation biofuel feedstock production will have to compete with food production for arable land surface. Yields per hectare in the temperate zone are moderate, so considerable surface would be called for. (To take one example, the entire current EU production of rapeseed and sunflowerseed would not suffice to provide 5.75% of EU diesel fuel consumption, which is the non-mandatory target set by the EU for 2010.);

* it follows that, to meet targets, considerable imports would be necessary;

* from the point of view of independence and security of supply, importing biofuels is no better than importing oil;

* biofuels imported from tropical regions pose substantial sustainability problems (rainforest clearance, monoculture, in particular), and certification appears as somewhat of a figleaf. By massive buying on world markets, the EU would, in the aggregate, encourage unsustainable practices in parallel with certified production;

* it therefore seems that first-generation biofuels are not a “magic bullet”. The EU should rather aim at conducting research and development of second-generation biofuels as quickly as possible, since these offer the possibility of sustainable domestic production of biofuels on marginal land, respecting the triple objective of rural development, security of supply, and sustainability;

* promotion of biofuels should not act as a substitute for demand reduction. We support initiatives to strongly urge, if necessary oblige, the car industry to work urgently on reducing vehicle fuel consumption as well as GHG emissions.

More detailed calculations concerning the feasibility of the non-mandatory EU target were presented in our submission to the public consultation on the EU Biofuels Directive conducted by the Transport and Energy Directorate of the European Commission earlier this summer. A link to our submission is appended to this letter.

The European Tribune (www.eurotrib.com) is an open online forum for civic debate with a strong focus on European issues. We have no commercial or financial interest in biofuels, nor any link to a political party or movement. We feel that biofuels can play an important, yet relatively limited part in securing Europe’s energy for the future. We thank you for reading this contribution, and hope it may be of some use in your deliberations.

Yours sincerely,

Display:
I've read the draft opinion and the proposed amendments. Hmm. Not so hot. (Despite some of the amendments). I'd draft something but really can't right now. Later.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Sep 11th, 2006 at 08:27:18 AM EST
I suggest ignoring the amendments for now and focusing on the draft opinion.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 11th, 2006 at 03:06:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Writeboard is very cool.  An excellent addition.  Comments to run "In version 3, para 5, where it states"...and then, to collate the final version, "First three paras of version 6, then the two paras from version 7, then..."

Very cool.

I think colman mentioned this earlier, but would it be a good idea to nominate categories and then request volunteers?  My thoughts would be:

environment
energy
security

hmmm.

economy

I think I'd be a seventh or eleventh wheel, if not a brake on proceedings coz my online time is fragmented (lots of on then lots of off, then a bit of on followed by lots of off)...but I'd love to read the whiteboard versions and follow the conversations.

Thumbs up for whiteboard!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Sep 11th, 2006 at 12:16:31 PM EST
The "compare" option is also very cool.  Great technology.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Sep 11th, 2006 at 12:17:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I like Writely.

It was kcurie who went raving about grouping volunteers into task groups, and I even attempted a diary on it, but the concensus in that subject was - or so I gather - that a free rein approach was best right for what we now have. Growth is what ET needs first. Fragmentary on-line time is perfectly fine - many hands make work light. Right now, I see the idea as a pod: it needs more soil.

by Nomad on Mon Sep 11th, 2006 at 12:32:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Writeboard has the advantage of being very lightweight. And of working in Safari.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 11th, 2006 at 12:50:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I read this more carefully and think the Suggestions section matters more than the Justification (which doesn't seem to show much knowledge of biofuels...).

And the Suggestions are not out-and-out wrong. They are rather bland. What we could add is probably to stress points about:

  • EU production capacity of 1st-generation biofuels is insufficient to reach targets such as 5.75% biofuels in 2010;
  • it follows that reaching targets = importing biofuels;
  • importing biofuels is no better dependency-wise than importing oil;
  • importing biofuels runs high sustainability risks (rainforest clearance, monoculture) that certification seems a weak shield against;
  • 1st-generation biofuels are therefore not a magic bullet, we should aim for 2nd-generation fuels that use marginal land and present better sustainability and supply independence prospects;
  • in the meantime, demand reduction is the key.

Does that appear right?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 03:51:59 AM EST
I agree completely.

I' try qualifying the statements a little:

# EU production capacity of 1st-generation biofuels seems barely sufficient to reach targets such as the 5.75% biofuels in 2010 demanded by the 2003 biofuels directive;
# it follows that reaching the current targets*, let alone increased targets, is likely to* require importing biofuels;

Should we also send them our biofuels consultation submission, or at least say where they can find it on the DG-TREN site?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 04:59:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would say we have submitted a biofuel consultation there and there with the exact calculations. How pushy do we want to be? If they're genuinely interested, they may contact us.
by Nomad on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 05:44:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They are not exact calculations, but they are close enough to the mark. Call them detailed.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 05:45:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with Nomad this text should be sent around Noon today.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 05:00:53 AM EST
It's past noon here and after 1pm in Brussels. Should we submit?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 07:13:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've done the meat in writeboard, take a look.

As soon as that's agreed on, we can look at the introduction and ending.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 05:42:42 AM EST
Huh?
We applaud you for creating a clear, accesible transprancy for European citizens in the decision making process.
This is correct:
To take one example, the entire current EU production of rapeseed and sunflowerseed would not suffice to provide 5.75% of EU diesel fuel consumption, which is the non-mandatory target set by the EU for 2010.
It seemed from our calculations that the 5.75% target might be barely met with marginal use of biodiesel but  10% to 12% ethanol? Is the 5.75% target to be met for each fuel type, or in the aggregate? We know that the aggregate figures for Ethanol are not good either. What you say might allow them to say "oh, well, we'll just produce more ethanol". I'd add some statistics for that, too (as in, "the entire spare production, from export figures, of ethanol crops is insufficient blah blah".

How about mentioning mass recycling of cooking oils?

More typos:

Your position to to stress the Commissions to on the car industry we support fully, although we would welcome also obligatory measures to fulfill the CO2 reduction target.


Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 05:52:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
my own shoddy version and afew's "meat" are now combined. I try to work on that now...

The transparency: we wouldn't be able to respond to them if they hadn't posted their draft opinions on the internet. Mind, that many of their documents are there in every EU language. Some texts, like the amendments, are solely in English. It's reasonably good.

by Nomad on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 05:58:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I just checked: even the amendments are in all EU languages. Look at this.
by Nomad on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 06:02:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The EP really has translation/interpretation facilities...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 06:24:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It seemed from our calculations that the 5.75% target might be barely met with marginal use of biodiesel but  10% to 12% ethanol?
Actually:
Surplus production [of ethanol (in excess of 100% self-sufficiency)] would [only] suffice to cover [2/3 of the target]. Only an extension of the area of ethanol feedstock crops, or a transfer of crops from animal feed to ethanol, would cover needs.


Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 06:04:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Writeboard allows you to compare drafts, so you could have seen what editing I had done to Nomad's version, which apparently you hadn't seen. As to the introduction and the ending, we can get to them next, as I said in my comment above. Typos you only need get in there yourself and clear them up, or make any other drafting suggestions.

Our calculations were:

According to Eurostat, transport fuel consumption for 2002 in the EU-25 was :
petrol, 5.2 e6 TJ ; diesel, 6.6 e6 TJ.
5.75% of these gives:
petrol, 0.3 e6 TJ ; diesel, 0.38 e6 TJ
Ethanol : 0.3 e6 TJ petrol  / 22 MJ/l = 13.6 e9 l
Biodiesel: 0.38 e6 TJ diesel / 34 MJ/l = 11.2 e9 l
If all the area (statistics, DG Agriculture) currently dedicated to potential ethanol feedstocks were used for ethanol, production could be an estimated:
·    10.5 e9 l of ethanol potential from the current EU-25 cultivated area of sugar beet (2.1 e6 ha @ 5000 l/ha)
·    19 e9 l of maize ethanol potential (from 6.5 e6 ha @ 3100 l/ha)
·     33.5 e9 l of common wheat ethanol potential (from 13.4 e6 ha @ 2500 l/ha)
·     23 e9 l of barley ethanol potential (from 23 e6 ha @ 1000 l/ha).
If only the surplus percentage (in excess of 100% self-sufficiency) of these crops were to be used, the estimates would be:
·    30% sugar beet: 10.5 e9 l x 30% = 3.15 e9 l ethanol
·    9% common wheat: 33.5 e9 l x 9% = 3 e9 l
·    13% barley: 23 e9 l x 13% = 3 e9 l
Surplus production (9 e9 l ethanol) would not suffice to cover the needed 13.6 e9 l. Only an extension of the area of ethanol feedstock crops, or a transfer of crops from animal feed to ethanol, would cover needs.

As for biodiesel, the total area of the two principal feedstocks, rapeseed and sunflower seed, would produce an estimated:

·    5 e9 l from rapeseed (4.5 e6 ha x 1100 l/ha);
·    2.2 e9 l from sunflower (2.2 e6 ha x 1000 l/ha)

Total production (7.2 e9 l) would not suffice to cover the needed 11.2 e9 l.

Yes, your point about ethanol/biodiesel aggregate is right: no doubt they say it's in the aggregate. My attempt here, however, is to do something punchy that will remain as a line of reasoning in readers' minds, so I avoided going into full detail. We could add the above calcs as a note?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 06:21:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would just give the conclusion for Ethanol and the conclusion for biodiesel.

I pointed out bits that were wrong but I waan;t quite sure how to correct.

And I don't want to run the risk of triggering the local firewall by submitting an edit.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 06:29:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Firewall?

Are you an alien invader?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 06:42:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean from the computer you're now working with? Otherwise, no reason to be shy...

As said, I'd refer to our consultation available at the EC website and indeed just write up the two conclusions.

Next attempt is made.

by Nomad on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 06:42:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you do this for a living? You cast the bones of the skeleton straight into flesh. I'd have needed two more versions to get even coherent.
by Nomad on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 05:54:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Afew isn't Chairman of the ET Kolkhoz for nothing.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 05:56:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Afew, where are my pigs?

Also members of kolkhozy were allowed to hold one acre of private land and a couple of animals.

Writeboard Compare is great.  I won't ask what 2nd generation biofuels are coz it would make me look, er...

rhg

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 06:43:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Biofuels made from cellulose or other non-food products, as opposed to from sugar.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 06:51:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...or other food products.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 06:51:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you can hold one acre and a couple of animals, your arms are long enough to understand 1st and 2nd generation biofuels.

1st generation  = food crops turned into either ethanol (means hooch) to be mixed with petrol, or oil to be used in diesel engines. 2nd generation = fuels made from cellulose, allowing use of wood chips, grass, etc. The latter are not yet fully R&D'd.

This is supposing you have understanding arms.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 06:55:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you can hold one acre and a couple of animals, your arms are long enough to understand

I may steal this for my sig quote.


Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 07:01:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently I was holding up the Writeboard hostage. I've beent tinkering here and there. I did wonder what would happen if someone else would swoop in and alter the text.   Smart system.

I was going to add the conclusions to the first paragraph of afew's text, so I haven't yet.

Onwards, to the next draft. Getting there.

by Nomad on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 07:16:37 AM EST
No firewall problems ;-)

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 07:21:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, so we can't all write at the same time. It figures :-)

I just made some more changes, after Migeru's.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 08:02:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmmm...
We have no commercial or financial interest in biofuels, nor any link to a political party or movement.
No link to political movements? How about the netroots?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 08:06:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seriously?

There's nothing constituted as a movement that we're linked to.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 08:29:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know. I think we're ready to go on this.

Signatures [Name, residence, nationality] to you or to Nomad? [Do you have Nomad's, and how about rg's?]

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 08:32:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...we're a movement - but with little impetus yet. But what makes a movement a movement - I wouldn't worry about it. Thoughtful addition, afew. As for the other additions, these little touches suddenly make the letter a lot les clunky.

Are we ready? I'm happy with it.

Our signature: same as the Piebalds letter, I agree with that.

afew, could you do the honours to send it from the ET e-mail address? Would be more official.

Recipients: The chairman of the committee, and ccs to the 2 vice-chairman and Mr. Aylward?

georgs.andrejevs at europarl.europa.eu

johannes.blokland at europarl.europa.eu

liam.aylward at europarl.europa.eu

Can't find the chairman's e-addy right now...

by Nomad on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 08:41:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The chair-woman: satu.hassi at europarl.europa.eu
by Nomad on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 08:51:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mr. Florenz himself: kflorenz at europarl.eu.int
by Nomad on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 08:54:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How about updating the diary with the final text?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 08:57:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I made one last change.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 08:58:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One minute...
by Nomad on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 09:06:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry I was still putting together the other letter for a pdf.

Is this one going as a simple e-mail? A W$ord file attached? If a pdf, I would need Nomad to pdf it and send it to me. Actually, I haven't got access to the ET e-mail, I think Jerome has. So we might do the two letters at once?

Signatures? I don't think we can assume everyone's agreement (of those -- 13 -- who are signing the Open Letter). So there's me, Mig, Nomad, rg -- who else?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 08:59:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think plain text is fine, as this has no formatting.

If you must use Word, save as RTF. That is also a good option if you want to preserve, say, the bullet list.

We're 1 to 2 hours after noon. Forget about PDF.

Regards,

Miguel

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 09:04:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pffft... brain short-circuit, I ended it like an e-mail ;-)

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 09:05:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was wondering whether you did that with some symbolism in mind... It's hot in London, too?
by Nomad on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 09:21:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Storm beginning to rumble here.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 10:24:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It rained in the early morning.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 10:27:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Plain text is fine for now. We can fret about PDF on the other letter.

4 signatures will have to do (thanks rg!). Time is getting thin. Let's get this one send ASAP, and then finish off Piebalds.

by Nomad on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 09:09:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can throw me in if you'd like.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 09:10:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can you use the ET email account?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 09:19:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is one?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 09:22:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is well organised... :p
by Nomad on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 09:26:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Organwhat?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 09:29:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Foot of page right?

Jerome is probably the only man with the key.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 09:29:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably Booman as well.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 09:31:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 09:38:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 09:39:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(Can afew borrow it or make a copy?)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 09:41:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, stop it with the mushrooms.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 09:42:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apart from sigs, do we have the blessing(s) of other ETers for sending these out?  I'm thinking in particular of Jerome, Colman, and Fran, who are in their different ways key representatives of the site.  (When people come to the site, Fran's breakfast is the first thing they'll see; Jerome's and Colman's frontpage articles come next, so if we send these out in the name of ET it'd be good to get their agreement is how I'm thinking...)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 09:11:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
completely right. But we just received Colman's blessing, and Dear Leader allows free rein behaviour, so we will just hope and pray it may please him...
by Nomad on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 09:16:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and Fran?  Maybe her role is as the world's most excellent freelancer?

(and afew: Point at the mulberry to curse the locust.)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 09:35:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I though "abuse the locust" meant...

Never mind what I thought.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 10:15:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I sent afew my name and address this morning.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 08:41:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the deed done? Can we open the beer?
by Nomad on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 09:56:46 AM EST
Done, but no beer for me. I'll be sending you the Open Letter asap.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 10:08:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll be watching out....soberly...
by Nomad on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 10:11:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here it is, sent from my e-mail address:

It has come to our attention that the Committee for Environment, Public Health and Food Safety will address the "Strategy on Biomass and Biofuels" at its meeting scheduled for September 13.
Using the committee's website we have been able to read both the Draft Opinion as drafted by Mr. Aylward and amendments 1-39. We appreciate the direct communication with European citizens made possible by your website, and sincerely hope this will continue in the future.
While not fundamentally opposing the Suggestions presented in the Draft Opinion on a European Strategy for Biofuels, we would like to stress the following points :
·    in the event of the introduction of mandatory targets for biofuel use, domestic first-generation biofuel feedstock production will have to compete with food production for arable land surface. Yields per hectare in the temperate zone are moderate, so considerable surface would be called for. (To take one example, the entire current EU production of rapeseed and sunflowerseed would not suffice to provide 5.75% of EU diesel fuel consumption, which is the non-mandatory target set by the EU for 2010.);
·    it follows that, to meet targets, considerable imports would be necessary;
·    from the point of view of independence and security of supply, importing biofuels is no better than importing oil;
·    biofuels imported from tropical regions pose substantial sustainability problems (rainforest clearance, monoculture, in particular), and certification appears as somewhat of a figleaf. By massive buying on world markets, the EU would, in the aggregate, encourage unsustainable practices in parallel with certified production;
·    it therefore seems that first-generation biofuels are not a "magic bullet". The EU should rather aim at conducting research and development of second-generation biofuels as quickly as possible, since these offer the possibility of sustainable domestic production of biofuels on marginal land, respecting the triple objective of rural development, security of supply, and sustainability;
·    promotion of biofuels should not act as a substitute for demand reduction. We support initiatives to strongly urge, if necessary oblige, the car industry to work urgently on reducing vehicle fuel consumption as well as GHG emissions.
More detailed calculations concerning the feasibility of the non-mandatory EU target were presented in our submission to the public consultation on the EU Biofuels Directive conducted by the Transport and Energy Directorate of the European Commission earlier this summer. A link to our submission is appended to this letter.

The European Tribune (www.eurotrib.com) is an open online forum for civic debate with a strong focus on European issues. We have no commercial or financial interest in biofuels, nor any link to a political party or movement. We feel that biofuels can play an important, yet relatively limited part in securing Europe's energy for the future. We thank you for reading this contribution, and hope it may be of some use in your deliberations.


by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 10:12:49 AM EST
And shoes too.

Where is rg with his host of pictures? We can feel important now.

by Nomad on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 11:28:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For those who like a smoke...



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 12:01:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For those who like stambecchi:



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 12:03:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did you copy the eurotrib.com address?
I have received nothing so far.

sorry I could not join in during the day. Looks good.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 12th, 2006 at 11:32:42 AM EST
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