Saturday, October 29, 2005

Biodiesel in the UK

Alright, let's get back to paying some attention again to energy and environmental-related news. The London Guardian has a report that the Blair government is moving toward a 5-percent biodiesel mix in all petrol (that's gas to us Americans) by 2010:
It smells of popcorn, can be made from chip fat, and may just help save the planet. Every motorist in Britain will shortly be filling their tanks with eco-friendly petrol under government plans to tackle climate change.

The nation's cars will switch to using a mix of ordinary diesel or petrol with 'biofuel', a cleaner alternative made from plant oils, by 2010, in an attempt to reduce harmful emissions from traffic.

The move - which comes amid new concern over the speed of climate change, following a month of hurricanes and an unusually balmy October in Britain - suggests the government has accepted it cannot force motorists out of their cars, and opted to clean them up instead.
[...]
Cars will not need to be modified to cope with biofuel, and although it is costlier to produce, officials insist the price of petrol will not rise since the biofuel will represent only five per cent of the mix. However that small change is enough to reduce Britain's emissions of carbon dioxide, the 'greenhouse gas' implicated in global warming, by more than 1 per cent by 2010 according to government calculations.
[...]
Under the plan, suppliers would be legally obliged to ensure five per cent of sales comprise biofuels.

A spokesman for Friends of the Earth welcomed the decision but warned it could not substitute for long-term behaviour changes. 'Biofuels are potentially a useful way of cutting carbon dioxide emissions, but the honest truth is the best way to cut emissions from transport would be to try and get people out of their cars,' he said.


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