Both Green Car Congress and AutoOrbis ran this story about European environmentalist cautions against public funding of new biofuel technology deployments.
"Caution" and "safeguards" at the level suggested here empowers the oil-based energy paradigm to remain the status quo. The very companies that need incentives to lead alternative fuel change have two considerations that saps their motivation:
1 - Any innovation will face obstructionism by environmentalists making it more difficult to deploy.
2 - It is more profitable to not solve the problem. Solutions cost money, increase cleaner fuel supplies, and provide alternative consumer choices at the pump which will reduce the price of oil and gasoline.
So, in a very real sense, these environmental groups are unwittingly backing the oil paradigm that is responsible for: increasing dependence on dwindling supplies; polluting at every stage of discovery, production, and distribution; increasing the emission of greenhouse gases; spurring even more frequent price spikes.
Finding solutions means not only R&D but deployment of commercial-scale facilities to work out the kinks. The environmental benefits from working out the problems far outweigh their liabilities - and certainly the obvious consequences of inaction. These programs carry significant financial risk to the investor. This is why R&D and D for warranted alternative energy production programs deserve governmental investment guarantees without the obstruction of idealistic "safeguards". Objective testing, measurement, and analysis will continue to insure that solutions comply with environmental standards.
Euro Environmental Organizations Warn on Biofuels
By Mike Millikin
Three European environmental organizations are warning that EU policies promoting biofuels may cause more environmental damage than the conventional fuels they are designed to replace if important environmental safeguards are not put in place.
The three organizations—the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), BirdLife International and Transport and Environment (T&E)—issued their call to the European Commission at the conference, A sustainable path for biofuels in the EU, organized by EEB. The EU energy ministers tomorrow begin debating the EU Biomass Action Plan, published in December.
Climate change and biodiversity loss are among our most pressing challenges. We must urgently reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change. But we must tackle climate change and biodiversity loss in tandem. Biofuels are only part of the solution. Unless we produce biofuels sustainably, we’ll end up with more energy-intensive and environmentally damaging farming practices and hasten the degradation of our ecosystems.
—John Hontelez, EEB Secretary General
The three environmental organizations want only biofuels that are produced sustainably and which offer substantive greenhouse gas benefits to be eligible for public support and count towards public targets, such as the EU target of 5.75%.
technorati environment, biomass, bioenergy, sustainability, safeguards, greenhouse