Are we trading forests for fuel?

Greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels based on deforestation are larger than those of petroleum fuels.

Dominick Spracklen of the School of Earth and the Environment at the University of Leeds says that if your primary concern is reducing carbon dioxide emissions, growing biofuels is not the best way to do it.

In fact it can have a perverse impact elsewhere in the world.

The amount of carbon that is released when you clear forests to make way for the biofuel crop is much more than the amount you get back from growing biofuels over a 30-year period.

But is it true that biofuels are causing the rape of forests?

“The fact is that most biofuel crops are grown on non-forest land.

“Sugarcane in Brazil offers the best example: the crop is grown 1000 miles South of the Amazon, and has no impact whatsoever on deforestation rates.

“The only biofuel currently made from crops grown on rainforest land is biodiesel from palm oil.

“There are groups of countries much larger than Europe, where biofuels can be grown without any major environmental side-effects. Countries like the Central-African Republic, South Sudan, Angola, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, and clusters of regions in Asia, to name but a few.

Biofuel production is criticized in the headlines for rainforest deforestration, displacing food acreage, water shortages, and excessive waste.

BioPact looks beyond the headlines and blogs to assert that green fuels offer the only realistic way to overcome high oil prices.

We are NOT faced with the simplistic choice of rainforests versus biofuels.