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Is Biofuel Policy Harming European Biodiversity?

Source:  Copyright 2009, ScienceDaily
Date:  April 25, 2009
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Current estimates state that transport is responsible for about 25% of the energy-related greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. While biofuels are seen as a possible means to reduce these emissions, they are under heavy discussion in terms of economic cost benefits and their environmental and social impacts.

The EU promotes the production of biofuels and has set a target of 5.75% share of biofuels in the transport section for all EU Member States by 2010, and a target of 10% to be reached by 2020. Currently, the biofuel crops consist mainly of commonly known arable crops, such as cereals, maize or rape seed. Increasing the share of these crops could lead to the expansion of cultivated areas, and in turn, to an increasing pressure on the environment, habitat loss and biodiversity decrease, especially if forest, grassland, peatland and wetlands are converted into monoculture plantations for biofuels crops.

The so-called second generation biofuel crops, ...

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