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EU scientists confirm bio-energy accounting flaw
Date 20/09/2011 17:16  Author webmaster  Hits 2749  Language Global
A major carbon accounting flaw in EU legislation will have "immense" consequences for the environment, concludes a report published last week by the top EU advisory body, the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency.

The flaw concerns biofuels used in transport, and biomass used for power generation, which are erroneously counted as having ‘zero emissions’.

Responding to the report, UKIP Enviromental spokesman
Stuart Agnew MEP said:

"This report forcefully exposes the great weakness in the case for biofuels,  i.e., that to produce sufficient quantities of energy, large areas of land must be used to grow bio-fuel crops, leading to less space for consumable, agricultural output and, as happened a few years ago, spiraling costs for basic food stuffs across the globe.  The quicker that Britain and the EU drop all the loopy green dogma, most of which is without scientific foundation, the better.

“In the real world, wheat prices are up and there is an increasing shortage of grain.  Diverting agricultural land to bio-energy is literally taking food out of people’s mouths.”

"The potential consequences of this bioenergy accounting error are immense," according to the report.

"Based on the assumption that all burning of biomass would not add carbon to the air, several reports have suggested that bioenergy could or should provide 20% to 50% of the world's energy needs in coming decades. Doing so would require doubling or tripling the total amount of plant material currently harvested from the planet's land. Such an increase in harvested material would compete with other needs, such as providing food for a growing population, and would place enormous pressures on the Earth's land-based ecosystems."

See also:
Bioenergy: a carbon accounting time bomb [PDF] 
(A study by the European Environmental Bureau, Birdlife Europe, and Transport & Environment)