Chief Scientific Advisor Criticises Biofuel Target

Professor Bob Watson, Chief Scientific Advisor to DEFRA, has criticised the EU’s plans to introduce compulsory quotas for the use of biofuels in petrol and diesel, before research has delivered a better understanding of their impact on the environment. Under the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation, to come into force next week on 1 April, all petrol and diesel must contain 2.5% biofuels. Britain must implement this quota in order to comply with its share of a 2003 EU Directive that 5.75% petrol and diesel must come from renewable sources by 2010.

The EU plans to raise the compulsory biofuels quota so that 10% of petrol and diesel should come from biofuels by 2020.

The Government has commissioned the Renewable Fuels Agency to undertake a review of the indirect impacts of biofuel production, on greenhouse gas emissions and food security. The initial report is expected in June.

Original article – The Guardian, Tuesday 25 March 2008