Ireland slows down in biofuel race

Ireland is putting the brakes on the EU target of biofuels making up 5.75% of all fuels in cars and lorries by 2010.

Biofuels made from food crops are being blamed for rising food prices

Biofuels made from food crops are being blamed for rising food prices

Amid a growing backlash against biofuels, Irish Energy Minister Eamon Ryan, is not alone in wanting to slow down the pace of adoption until it becomes clearer whether they can be used without impacting food costs.

A World Bank report recently attributed 70% of the skyrocketing food prices to growing consumption of biofuels as demand for organic materials grew as fuel makers seeking feedstock bought grains and other food items.

"There's been an avalanche of these reports, but it was the [UK Renewable Fuel Agency's] Gallagher Report that in particular had an impact on our thinking," an Irish official told the EUobserver.

"[Minister Ryan] still believes in the 2020 target, and that should still be the main goal - it doesn't make sense to tear that apart, but as far as the 2010 interim target, it's too much too soon."

The Gallagher Report noted biofuel policy had a negative impact on food prices, and surprisingly, greenhouse emissions as well.

The report recommended the transition to non-food feedstock and avoiding the use of productive agricultural land for feedstock, preferring instead algae, forest waste and even food leftovers.

Reacting to the report, a leading figure in the biofuels industry has denied the link between biofuel production and rising food prices.


| biofuels | Food & drink | transport


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