UK Biofuels Policies 'A Shambles'

Farmer's Guardian --The UK biofuel industry is dominated by imports that that fall short of basic environmental standards, the Renewable Fuel Agency (RFA) has revealed.

In its first monthly report since the UK introduced the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation in April, the RFA said that biofuels accounted for 2.14 per cent of UK road fuel against a target for the year of 2.5 per cent.

But it admitted that only 19 per cent of the biofuels met its environmental standards compared to a target of 30 per cent.

Just 7 per cent of the biofuel used on British forecourts came from UK sources.

On a positive note the RFA said that 42 per cent greenhouse gas savings were achieved, although that the figure excluded the emissions from indirect changes in land-use considered in the recent ‘Gallagher Review’.

Dr Sue Armstrong Brown, the RSPB’s head of countryside and species conservation, said: “This report is even worse than we feared and shows what a shambles the UK’s biofuels’ policies have become.

“Here is yet more proof, direct from a UK government body, that voluntary environmental and social standards just aren’t working. These standards must be strengthened and made compulsory before targets are raised any further.”

The RFA said that it was working with the Government to bring in compulsory sustainability criteria that would include the indirect effects of biofuel production.

It said that the current monthly reporting process was vital to draw up a picture of the UK biofuel industry before it could develop its sustainability framework.