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Have you (reader) checklist/questions to ask about biofuels to ensure they are "sustainable"..

eg willow from rough grazing land, and used cooking oil.. better than cereal based oil form best agric land in UK...better than oil palm from burnt down forests in Indonesia...? Please let us know of any such check, and we will credit accordingly.

Biofuel Plans

FAO Report Sustainable Bioenergy (pdf)

The report points out the many benefits of bioenergy systems in relation to poverty alleviation, access to energy services, rural development and rural infrastructure. It reviews the likely impact of bioenergy in terms of food security, climate change, biodiversity and natural resources, employment and trade. It also identifies the vital points decision makers need to consider and stressed that, “Unless new policies are enacted to protect threatened lands, secure socially acceptable land use, and steer bioenergy development in a sustainable direction overall, the environmental and social damage could in some cases outweigh the benefits”.

In an apparent reference to the use of some grains as a biofuel feedstock, UN-Energy noted, “In general, crops that require high fossil energy inputs (such as conventional fertilizer) and valuable (farm) land, and that have relatively low energy yields per hectare, should be avoided.”

Biofuels "will not lead to hunger" according to NFU..

"The area of land required to produce sufficient bio-diesel and bio-ethanol to meet the targets set out in the UK's Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), which requires 5% of all petrol and diesel sold on forecourts to be biofuel by 2010, can be found without prejudicing food production capacity.

Using the UK's 750,000 hectares of set-aside to grow oilseed rape will comfortably take care of the bio-diesel requirement.

The 3.5 million tonnes of feed wheat that is currently surplus to requirements and has to be exported will account for the bio-ethanol" - although UN says its wasteful to use cereals (see above). So...

BP & ABF to build £200m Bioethanol plant in Hull. This will be based on wheat production - contrary again to what the FAO Report (above) recommends.

McDonald's use their restaurants' cooking oil for biofuel. The company says that the move will cut its UK carbon emissions by 75 percent, which is the same as taking 2,400 cars off the road.

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