Monday, April 21, 2008

The Government is failing to ensure biofuels used in the UK come from sustainable sources

Loopholes in the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation allow subsidised fuel from unsustainable sources to still be certified, says Liberal Democrat Shadow Transport Secretary, Norman Baker. He adds:

“It is a scandal that unsustainable and heavily subsidised fuel is being imported from the US and described as environmentally friendly. Ministers must push the EU to close this loophole immediately.

“Thanks to flaws in the Government’s system, companies selling these fuels will even be allowed to get away with saying that they don’t know whether they’ve been sourced sustainably or not. This makes a mockery of the entire idea of sustainability standards.”

(The Government’s sustainability standards for the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation allows companies to answer ‘unknown’ to the question of what the previous land use was on the 30th November 2005 and still be eligible for a Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation certificate.

The US currently provides a massive $1 per gallon subsidy to all biofuels linked to the country, including the controversial B99 which is 99% produced elsewhere with no sustainability record. A loophole in the UK and EU’s biofuel standards means that this fuel is eligible under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation as well as receiving the US Government subsidy, squeezing out any UK competition.)
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