Home / Blog / Article


April 13 2010

Rethinking Biofuels

Nicole Kurokawa Neily

Maybe there’s hope for Europe yet: the European Union may actually change course on one of its “green” policies, given new evidence that such a target may actually prove harmful. (Isn’t it refreshing when governments acknowledge data when making big decisions?) Specifically, the EU is considering altering its biofuels target in light of a new report.

From the EU Observer:

The European Commission is under pressure to alter EU-wide agreed targets of replacing 10 percent of fossil fuels with renewable energy by 2020, as its own internal studies have proven that biofuels have a negative impact on the environment and food production.

EU energy commissioner Guenther Oettinger is considering a re-think of policies towards spurring the use of biofuels gained from crops such as rapeseed and palm oil, as they can lead to mass deforestation and food supply disruptions, Financial Times Deutschland reports. 

Parts of the internal study were published by the EU executive at the end of last month, amid growing pressure from MEPs and environmental groups. 

It continued to make the case for biofuels, but capped the "sustainability" level at 5.6 percent of traditional fossil fuels, suggesting that a higher percentage would harm the environment and endanger food crops, as they would compete for the same farm land.

Let’s not forget, though: the Cato Institute’s Pat Michaels warned about this unintended consequence several years ago. Ah, if only more people listened to scientists, instead of trying to silence them

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
Follow us