16 April 2007


George Monbiot explains why the British Government is extending the tax rebate for biofuels:

It used to be a matter of good intentions gone awry. Now it is plain fraud. … The reason governments are so enthusiastic about biofuels is that they don't upset drivers. They appear to reduce the amount of carbon from our cars, without requiring new taxes. It's an illusion sustained by the fact that only the emissions produced at home count towards our national total. The forest clearance in Malaysia doesn't increase our official impact by a gram. If we want to save the planet, we need a five-year freeze on biofuels, ‘The Guardian’, 27 March
I was inclined to think insanity, but Mr Monbiot is probably more accurate when he calls it fraud. He goes on to say that fuel suppliers in the UK have been ordered to ensure that 2.5 per cent of the fuel they sell is made from plants. If not, they must pay a penalty of 15p a litre. By 2050, the British Government wants 33% of UK fuel to originate in crops, while President George Bush announced ‘that he would quintuple the US target for biofuels: by 2017 they should be supplying 24% of the nation's transport fuel.’

These ludicrous targets are government at its worst. They have nothing to do with any meaningful outcome for ordinary people, and everything to do with pandering to the wishes of large agribusiness corporates, and getting something in the media that appears to show concern.

No comments: