Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Biofuels harm environment, says United Nations

A British journalist says the United Nations will officially warn that growing crops to make “green” biofuel harms the environment and drives up food prices.

Robert Mendick of The Telegraph cites “a leaked draft of a UN report” that he says “condemns the widespread use of biofuels made from crops as a replacement for petrol and diesel.

“It says that biofuels, rather than combating the effects of global warming, could make them worse.

“The draft report represents a dramatic about-turn for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),” he says.

In 2007 the UN praised ethanol and biodiesel for reducing greenhouse gases that increase global warming.

Now Mendick says the executive summary for the UN report says “increasing bioenergy crop cultivation poses risks to ecosystems and biodiversity.”

The U.S. and Canadian governments force ethanol and biodiesel to be blended into fuels for retail. Those measures are controversial because corn and soybean growers favour them for boosting demand and prices and buyers, including livestock and poultry producers, oppose them for the same price-increasing reason.