Thursday, October 09, 2008

Biofuels Back in the News

News from the biofuel world this week:

  • The UN announces that Indonesia is leading the world in deforestation at a rate of 1.9 million hectares per year. This is in the context of the government's commitment to allow 6 million hectares of land to be cultivated for palm oil production - a prime component in biofuels.
  • In a separate report, the UN Food and Agriculture Agency has called for an urgent review of international policies and subsidies for biofuels, claiming that they are contributing significantly to rising food prices and food shortages in poor countries. "The report finds that while biofuels will offset only a modest share of fossil energy use over the next decade they will have much bigger impacts on agriculture and food security," it said in its annual State of Food and Agriculture report.
  • Unilever, the food and consumer goods group (whose products include Signal Toothpaste, Hellman's, Knorr and Flora) has publicly expressed its support for the scrapping of compulsory biofuel targets and subsidies - the first such call from a major international corporation.

Previous biofuel stories on Philosopher's Tree can be found here.

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