Biofuels are promoted as a clean alternative to fossil fuel, but they are not an easy answer to climate change.
What's the problem?
Biofuels are made from crops such as soy and oil palm. They are used in fuel in cars, but increasingly they are also burned in power stations.
Biofuels aren't the magic fix they appear to be. Vast areas of forests and land are being cleared to farm enough biofuels to meet government targets. This is causing some serious problems:
- Climate change
Millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions are being released due to deforestation. This is making climate change worse not better.
- Ruined livelihoods
Land is being taken away from indigenous peoples without any compensation. They are being stripped of their livelihoods and are suffering from hunger and violent conflicts.
- Forest destruction
Natural habitats are being replaced by ever-larger plantations pushing orang-utans and other wildlife closer to extinction.
How can we help?
Friends of the Earth wants real solutions to address climate change. We are campaigning for:
- The UK and EU to scrap targets to increase our use of biofuels.
- The UK to develop more sustainable transport policies, which reduce our impact on the climate.
- The UK to scrap government subsidies for biofuel power stations, and support renewables instead.
- Europe to account for its CO2 emissions from biofuel production.