Sunday, March 11, 2007

Interesting Biofuel Counterpoint/Conundrum

From AllAfrica.com:
An international coalition has appealed to former US vice-president and environmental campaigner Al Gore to take up their concerns about the world's rapidly developing biofuels industry.

They have told him that large-scale biofuel production and new incentives to promote biofuels, based on "energy-crop monocultures", are having a devastating impact on biodiversity and contributing to global climate change.
[...]
The coalition said one of their major concerns was that energy crop monocultures threatened the global climate.

"Energy yields are highest from crops growing in the tropics; hence much of the global biofuel demand is being, and will continue to be, met from Asia, Latin America and Africa.

"Already, biofuels production is leading to increased rates of deforestation in many rain forest nations, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Colombia, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Cameroon."

For example, Indonesia planned to expand palm oil production for biofuels 43-fold, a move that threatened most of that country's remaining rain forests and peat lands.
[...]
"If those plans are implemented, up to 50 billion tonnes of carbon are likely to be released into the atmosphere - the equivalent of over six years of global fossil fuel burning, that would clearly stand in the way of our common objective of stabilising the climate before feedback mechanisms make this impossible."

Nasa had shown that the rate of Amazon deforestation correlated directly with the increasing world market price of soya, the coalition said. "That price is expected to rise sharply as demand for soya biodiesel grows."


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