- 3-4 October 2011, Calgary, Alberta, Canada: Bioenergy International Canada Expo & Conference (Themes: biofuels, markets, policies)
- 5-6 October 2011, Warwickshire, UK: European Bioenergy Expo and Conference (EBEC) (Themes: biodiesel, biogas, biomass, waste)
- 11-12 October 2011, San Francisco, California, United States: Biogas USA West Conference 2011 (Themes: biogas, Farm Bill, markets, methane, sustainability)
- 11-13 October 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA: Northeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show (Themes: biomass, biorefining, wood energy)
- 18-20 October 2011, Valladolid, Spain: Expobioenergía 2011 (Themes: biogas, CHP, forests, pellets, sustainability)
- 21 October 2011, Stockholm, Sweden: Land grabbing in Africa: Global resource scarcity and competition for survival (Themes: biofuels, land grabbing, land use)
- 25 October 2011, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: From Crude Oil to Biofuels (Themes: ethanol, petroleum, sugar cane, sustainability)
- 31 October 2011-2 November 2011, Madison, Wisconsin, USA: 11th Annual BioCycle Renewable Energy Conference (Themes: anaerobic digestion, biogas, waste)
- Biofuel from West Coat forests would increase carbon emissions, 26 October 2011 by Western Farm Press: "The largest and most comprehensive study yet done on the effect of biofuel production from West Coast forests has concluded that an emphasis on bioenergy would increase carbon dioxide emissions from these forests at least 14 percent, if the efficiency of such operations is optimal."
- "The study was published in Nature Climate Change, by scientists from the College of Forestry at Oregon State University and other institutions in Germany and France. It was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy."
- "During the past four years, the study examined 80 forest types in 19 eco-regions in Oregon, Washington and California, ranging from temperate rainforests to semi-arid woodlands."
- "The study examined thousands of forest plots with detailed data and observations, considering 27 parameters, including the role of forest fire, emissions savings from bioenergy use, wood product substitution, insect infestations, forest thinning, energy and processes needed to produce biofuels, and many others."
- "Plans for greenhouse gas reduction call for up to 10 percent lower emissions by 2020, and forest-derived fuels are now seen as a carbon-neutral solution to reducing energy emissions, the researchers note. However, this study suggests that increases in harvest volume on the West Coast, for any reason, will instead result in average increases in emissions above current levels."
- Tanzania: Rising Food Prices Affect Biofuel Projects, 24 October 2011 by AllAfrica.com: "United States Department of Agriculture Chief Advisor for Government, Academia and Industry Partnership, Cindy Smith and Deputy Coordinator for Feed the Future Initiative, Tjada McKenna argued last week that use of corn in biofuel manufacturing to drive vehicles consumes less than one per cent of the country's annual production."
- "Both the US and EU adopted energy policies between 2008 and 2010 which targets to source up to 20 per cent of their energy needs from renewable sources."
- "In its recent report titled, 'Meal per gallon,' an international charity, ActionAid estimated that the EU plan to source 10 per cent of transport fuels from biofuels would increase competition for agricultural lands and spur a sharp rise in food prices."
- "The report argues that cropland expansion (17.5 million hectares will be needed in developing countries to meet the EU's 10 per cent target) will come at the expense of tropical forests and peatlands, worsening climate change."
- Magnetic algae make biofuels sticky, 21 October 2011 by MSNBC: "Scientists at a government lab in New Mexico have created what appear to be magnetic algae, a breakthrough that could lower the cost of harvesting biofuels from the microscopic plants."
- "Current techniques for extracting algae from the ponds where they are grown include sound waves and the addition of chemicals that cause the algae to clump together, a process known as flocculation."
- "These techniques account for about 30 percent of the total cost of algae-based biofuel production, Pulak Nath at the Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory noted, and 'is one of the limiting steps for algae fuel from becoming cost competitive to fossil fuels.'"
- "Permanent magnets are inexpensive. In theory, algae biofuel systems could flow algae-filled water through a tank lined with the magnets and the algae will get separated from the water, Nath explained."
- "The research, he cautioned, is in the early stages. So far, they've created one species of magnetic algae. Going forward, they will try to transfer the gene to more candidates for algae biofuel production."
- McDonald's Joins Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil; Commits to Sourcing Sustainable Palm Oil, 19 October 2011 by Marketwire: "McDonald's Corporation today announced its membership in the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)."
- "This membership represents significant progress in the company's commitment to source palm oil only from RSPO member companies by the end of this year, and to use only RSPO-certified palm oil in restaurants and pre-cooked chicken and potato products by 2015."
- "McDonald's membership in the RSPO is an extension of its Sustainable Land Management Commitment (SLMC) announced earlier this year."
- "The McDonald's SLMC requires that, over time, its suppliers will only use agricultural raw materials for the company's food and packaging that originate from sustainably-managed lands, ensuring the food served in its restaurants around the world is sourced from certified sustainable sources."
- "Based on a thorough analysis conducted in collaboration with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to identify the top raw materials which have the most potential sustainability impacts, McDonald's SLMC actions initially are focused on Beef, Poultry, Coffee, Palm Oil and fiber for Packaging."
- Fat Replaces Oil for F-16s as Biofuels Head to War, 18 October 2011 by Bloomberg Businessweek: "Biofuels face their biggest test yet -- whether they can power fighter jets and tanks in battle at prices the world’s best-funded military can afford."
- "The U.S. Air Force is set to certify all of its 40-plus aircraft models to burn fuels derived from waste oils and plants by 2013, three years ahead of target, Air Force Deputy Assistant Secretary Kevin Geiss said. The Army wants 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. The Navy and Marines aim to shift half their energy use from oil, gas and coal by 2020."
- "Yet the U.S., stung by an oil embargo during the 1973 Arab- Israeli war, won’t deploy biofuels beyond testing until prices tumble."
- "The armed forces say they’ve been successful testing fuels produced from sources as diverse as animal fat, frying oils and camelina, an oil-bearing plant that’s relatively drought- and freeze-resistant."
- "The military wants its vehicles, except for the ships that are nuclear-powered, to be able to use new combustibles, cutting fossil fuel imports from politically unstable nations."
- Biofuels growth stifled by EU policy delays: BP, 18 October 2011 by Reuters: "Biofuels for use in transport are becoming more competitive compared with oil but the pace of growth has slowed due to a lack of regulation and sustainability standards in Europe, the chief executive of BP's biofuels division said."
- "'In the UK, biofuels get no tax breaks whatsoever. The biggest obstacle (to biofuel growth) is uncertainty around the future of mandates and clear (European Union) sustainability standards,' Philip New of BP Biofuels told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday."
- "EU policymakers are currently debating the green credentials of some biofuels and should present proposals for approval by EU governments and lawmakers before the end of the year. However, legislation might not emerge for several years."
- "Critics say some biofuels production can occupy land that would otherwise be used for agricultural purposes, thus limiting food and water resources for a rapidly rising world population."
- "Some biofuel production could also increase carbon emissions, especially if rainforests are cut down to facilitate production."
- Food prices and the influence of biofuels, 15 October 2011 by Columbia Daily Tribune: "While one set of critics argues farm subsidies drive down food prices and contributed to rising rates of obesity, others argue biofuel policies are driving up food prices and contributing to world hunger."
- "Biofuel policies might do more to raise food prices than farm subsidies do to reduce food prices."
- "Increasing agricultural production can make it possible to provide more food and more fuel to a growing world, and rising biofuel production is not the only cause of rising food prices."
- "Reducing or eliminating the RFS could have larger impacts on biofuel production and food prices, and a bill to reduce the RFS when grain stocks are low has been introduced in Congress."
- "Some have argued that moving to 'second generation' biofuels, such as ethanol made from switchgrass, would alleviate concerns about biofuel production on food prices. According to a recent National Academy of Sciences report, however, such fuels still are not commercially viable."
- "If oil prices are high enough, biofuel production could continue to increase even if current biofuel policies are removed. That means future food prices might be even more dependent on energy markets than is the case today."
- “Not the right time to call for more idle agricultural land,” warns biofuels association, 14 October 2011 by Renewable Energy Magazine: "ePURE is deeply concerned about the European Commission’s plans to set-aside 7% of EU agricultural land as 'ecological focus areas', in effect marking the reintroduction of the EU's set-aside policy."
- "Initially intended to curb agricultural surpluses, mandatory set-aside has been abolished in 2009 against the backdrop of soaring soft commodity prices. In the light of a global food crisis in 2008, the EU could no longer afford to keep arable land out of production."
- "This new set-aside proposal comes in addition to the continuous land idling in Europe, which already leads to a substantial loss of agricultural land in the EU."
- "In parallel the Commission reflects on possible policy measures to hedge against potential indirect land use change (ILUC) effects of biofuels production. As the ILUC debate boils down to the availability of enough arable land to fulfill our needs now and in the future, the proposal shows a clear lack of consistency between the different EU policies."
- "The solution to both the ILUC debate and the quest for an environmentally more sustainable agriculture lies in the enlargement of the scope of binding sustainability criteria."
- Monsanto Sorghum Seeds to Yield Brazil Ethanol During Cane Break, 14 October 2011 by Bloomberg Businessweek: "Monsanto Co., the world’s largest seed company, will sell enough sweet sorghum for 20,000 hectares (49,400 acres) of plantations in Brazil this year as sugar cane mills struggle to meet demand for ethanol and are seeking an alternative source of the renewable fuel."
- "Sweet sorghum, an 8-foot (2.4-meter) plant that resembles sugar cane and may yield 80 percent as much fuel, may become an alternative feedstock for Brazilian mills after a poor cane harvest forced some plants to close this month, more than a month early, for the annual inter-harvest break during the rainy season."
- "Brazil, the world’s largest producer and exporter of sugar, will grow 588.9 million tons of sugar cane this year, down from last year’s 623.9 million tons, the country’s crop-forecasting agency Conab said Sept. 5."
- EU to establish full carbon emissions, 13 October 2011 by IOL Scitech: "The European Union's efforts to establish the full carbon emissions from burning bio-energy is an all but impossible task which illustrates the difficulty of trying to cut humankind's environmental impact, which first has to be measured."
- "But a fuller measure of carbon emissions is important, even an inaccurate number beats ignoring the issue, especially given the lessons from a related food versus fuel battle which sparked a global backlash against liquid biofuels three years ago"
- "In a world of limited land and a growing population decisions taken in Europe can cause farmers to wield chainsaws in a tropical rainforest."
- "Qualification for support payments and numerical targets is conditional on liquid biofuels cutting carbon emissions by at least 35 percent compared with gasoline and diesel under the EU's Renewable Energy Directive, rising to 60 percent from 2018."
- "But the rule only applies to direct emissions, not so-called indirect land use change (ILUC), where some bio-energy displaces grazing and food crops, driving carbon emissions from causing land to be ploughed up elsewhere."
- RFS: It’s Not Perfect, But It’s Working, 11 October 2011 by Biofuels Digest: "The Renewable Fuel Standard is the key foundation policy supporting the commercial development of advanced biofuels."
- "It is not working as fast as some would like, but given the current economic situation it is indeed working."
- "Nevertheless, there is some impatience and disappointment that cellulosic biofuel production has not grown fast enough to meet the aggressive RFS goals. A new report from the National Academies on the RFS is stoking this sentiment."
- "The National Academies report takes a good hard look at the challenges facing the cellulosic biofuel industry – primarily, the growing and harvesting of sufficient biomass resources and the formation of capital to construct new biorefineries."
- "The large volume of the advanced biofuels mandate of the RFS permits a number of technologies, feedstocks and strategies to compete for market space, depending on their ability to achieve cost competitiveness and meet end-user needs."
- "We need to follow a parallel path of commercialization and continued research so we can improve technology and the cost structure as we move forward with building modern biorefineries and creating a new biobased economy."
- Cellulosic Ethanol Production Far Behind Renewable Fuel Standard, 11 October 2011 by Environment News Service: "The United States is not likely to reach cellulosic ethanol production mandates spelled out in the federal Renewable Fuel Standard by 2022 unless 'innovative technologies are developed or policies change,' says a new congressionally-requested report from the National Research Council."
- "Cellulosic ethanol is a biofuel produced from wood, grasses, or the non-edible parts of plants, such as corncobs or citrus peels."
- "In 2005, Congress enacted the Renewable Fuel Standard as part of the Energy Policy Act and amended it in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act."
- "While production of ethanol and biodiesel already exceed the mandate, no commercial cellulosic biofuels plants exist and technologies are at demonstration scale."
- "But this year cellulosic biofuel output is likely to be 6.6 million gallons, far below the RFS target for 2011 of 250 million gallons, the report points out."
- "Renewable fuels advocates criticized the NRC committee for is narrow focus and said a broader view of the entire industry is required to accurately evaluate the likelihood of cellulosic biofuel to meet the mandated requirements."
- Indirect land use change (ILUC) risks can be mitigated, says E&Y report, 10 October 2011 by Biofuels Digest: "In Belgium, a new report by Ernst & Young indicates that indirect land use change (ILUC) risks can be mitigated by incentives that encourage existing and additional sustainable practices in biofuels production, as well as other sectors that use agricultural commodities."
- "The report, commissioned by a diverse consortium of industry and NGOs, supports a new policy option that incentivizes land use change mitigation practices and supports best practice and behavioral change in the production of biofuels."
- "This proposal could be implemented by extending the application of carbon incentives, already established by the Directive for degraded land, to qualifying mitigation measures identified in the report."
- "ILUC mitigation practices identified by Ernst & Young include the development of advanced generation biofuels, improvements to crop yields on existing agricultural land, the use of co-products for animal feed purposes, and crop production on abandoned lands."
- More Job-Creating Biomass Crop Projects Announced Recently, 7 October 2011 by EESI: "Over the summer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the establishment of nine new biomass production project areas across the U.S. as part of the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP)."
- "However, the agency is rapidly running out of funds for new project areas, and the House has zeroed out funding for the program for FY12."
- "Developing next generation biofuels and bioenergy will help create jobs, reduce U.S. dependence on petroleum and other fossil fuels, help keep more of the nation’s energy dollars invested here at home, and help rural America grow its way out of recession."
- "Commercial scale bioenergy production requires bringing together biomass producers and bioenergy producers within a close radius so as to minimize the cost of transporting large volumes of bulky biomass."
- "A bioenergy plant will not be built if there is not an adequate supply of biomass nearby, but biomass producers will not begin planting biomass crops or harvesting biomass residues until they are assured that a nearby bioenergy plant will buy their biomass."
- Biodiesel industry rejects EU land use impact study, 7 October 2011 by Reuters: "Europe's biodiesel industry rejected the findings of a draft EU study showing that the cultivation of rapeseed to make road transport fuels is worse for the climate than using conventional diesel."
- "The European Biodiesel Board (EBB) said on Friday the study's central finding -- that the effects of indirect land use to produce most types of biodiesel cancel out any theoretical emissions savings -- was 'highly debatable and unscientific.'"
- "A series of leaked EU studies showed that biodiesel from European rapeseed, South American soy beans and Asian palm oil all have a greater overall climate impact that normal diesel."
- "If the Commission follows the advice contained in the studies and penalizes individual biofuel crops on the basis of their estimated ILUC emissions, it could wipe out the bloc's 13 billion euro ($17.5 billion) biodiesel industry overnight."
- "It would also give a boost to ethanol producers such as Spain's Abengoa and increase the market for fuels derived from Brazilian sugar cane as the EU seeks to fill the 80 percent gap in its biofuel market currently occupied by biodiesel."
- European biofuels target condemned by leading US scientists, 7 October 2011 by The Guardian: "Over 100 top scientists and economists have written to the European commission calling for indirect land use change (ILUC) to be accounted for in EU biofuels policy making."
- "The letter, seen by EurActiv, argues that assigning biofuels a zero or 'carbon neutral' emissions value – as the EU has done – 'is clearly not supported by the [best available] science'."
- "Because of 'flawed' accounting conventions, 'the European Union's target for renewable energy in transport may fail to deliver genuine carbon savings in the real world,' the scientists argue."
- "Since 2008, EU member states have been obliged to raise the share of biofuels in the energy mix to 10% by 2020."
- "But recent reports by the European Environment Agency and four other EU agencies have questioned whether meeting the EU's target would cut any CO2 emissions at all."
- "But because of 'scientific uncertainties,' the Commissioners decided to introduce a contested 'threshold' measurement of CO2 savings until 2018 that would not penalise individual biofuels emissions."
- IUCN Report Highlights Biofuel Production’s Threats to Food Security, 6 October 2011 by IISD: "A new report commissioned by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and others, titled "Biofuels and indirect land use change," highlights findings that expanding biofuel production could displace agricultural production activities onto land with high natural carbon stocks, including grasslands and forests, with significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, biodiversity loss and threats to food security."
- "The report looks at the mitigation options considered by the European Commission for dealing with indirect land use change arising from the use of biofuels under the Renewable Energy Directive."
- Download the report, Biofuels and indirect land use change: The case for mitigation (PDF file).
- Indonesia’s withdrawal puts Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil on shaky ground, 5 October 2011 by The Star Online: "The jury is still out on the implications of Indonesia's withdrawal of its membership from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)."
- "On the one hand, some industry observers reckon the absence of Indonesia, being a sizeable producer, can derail the workings of RPSO."
- "But others think that as long as major palm oil producers such as Sime Darby Bhd and Wilmar International are still members of RSPO, there should be no negative impact on the grouping."
- "It is unclear if the decision by GAPKI will have any bearing on the Malaysia Palm Oil Association's (MPOA) stand on RSPO."
- "Fadhil Hasan, the executive director of GAPKI, was quoted as saying the association decided to resign because Indonesia already had the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO)."
- "RSPO has just recently achieved one million hectares of certified production area around the world. Malaysia and Indonesia contribute 88% of total certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO). Out of this, Indonesia produces 40% of global CSPO, second to Malaysia with 48% of production."
- Biofuel push a bust, report hints, 5 October 2011 by John Roach for MSNBC: "Unless a major technological breakthrough occurs in the next few years, a U.S. government push to put 16 billions of gallons of cellulosic biofuel into gas tanks annually by 2022 will be a bust, hints a new report."
- "The push comes from the congressionally mandated Renewable Fuel Standard. Of the mandated total of 36 billion gallons from a mix of biofuels, the corn-derived ethanol target of 15 billion gallons is doable, the report says."
- "But a big part of the standard — 16 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuels from non-edible plant material such as cornstalks and switchgrass — is unlikely to be met, Wallace Tyner, an agricultural economist at Purdue University, told me Tuesday."
- "'The technologies are just not advanced enough to be commercial, they are not cheap enough yet to be commercial, and we are going to have to invest more in R&D if we want to accelerate the pace,' he said."
- "'Here we are in 2011 and we have 11 years to get to 2022 and build 16 billion gallons with a technology that's costlier and riskier, a feedstock that's costlier, and it is just not likely to happen,' he said."
- Ethanol fuel use goal likely a bust, science panel says, 4 October 2011 by USA Today: "The federal requirement for consuming 36 billion gallons of ethanol and other so-called biofuels annually by 2022 probably won't be met, and it might not reach its goal of cutting greenhouse gases even it were met, according to a report requested by Congress and published Tuesday by the National Academy of Sciences."
- "Meeting the standard 'would likely increase federal budget outlays as well as have mixed economic and environmental effects,' according to a summary."
- "The report notes that the way biofuels (mainly ethanol) are produced, and changes in how land is used to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard, will determine whether greenhouse gases (GHG) increase or decrease."
- "The portion of the requirements dictating the use of 15 billion gallons of fuel mainly from corn ethanol certainly will be met, he says: 'We're at 14 billion today,' and plenty of ethanol plants are in operation. But meeting the requirements for cellulosic biofuels is uncertain, the report says."
- Biofuels can be commercialized rapidly for military, says industry group, 4 October 2011 by BrighterEnergy.org: "Advanced biofuels can be commercialized rapidly for military use, on military timelines, with adequate support and coordination of efforts by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Defense and Energy."
- "That’s according to the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), which yesterday submitted comments to the Air Force’s Request for Information on the commercial status and market for advanced drop-in biofuels."
- "Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, stated: 'The U.S. military and the nation as a whole face a significant national security threat from U.S. dependence on foreign sources of energy and ongoing price volatility.'"
- "'Military use of advanced biofuels could in turn validate emerging technologies and unlock private investment in future advanced biofuels production for civilian markets.'"
- Certain biofuel mandates unlikely to be met by 2022; unless new technologies, policies developed, 4 October 2011 by EurekAlert: "It is unlikely the United States will meet some specific biofuel mandates under the current Renewable Fuel Standard by 2022 unless innovative technologies are developed or policies change, says a new congressionally requested report from the National Research Council, which adds that the standard may be an ineffective policy for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions."
- "The committee that wrote the report said that production of adequate volumes of biofuels are expected to meet consumption mandates for conventional biofuels and biomass-based diesel fuel. However, whether and how the mandate for cellulosic biofuels will be met is uncertain."
- "Currently, no commercially viable biorefineries exist for converting cellulosic biomass to fuel. The capacity to meet the renewable fuel mandate for cellulosic biofuels will not be available unless the production process is unexpectedly improved and technologies are scaled up and undergo several commercial-scale demonstrations in the next few years."
- "Only in an economic environment characterized by high oil prices, technological breakthroughs, and a high implicit or actual carbon price would biofuels be cost-competitive with petroleum-based fuels, the committee concluded."
- Our sugarcane is greener than your corn: Brazil takes on US biofuel industry, 4 October 2011 by Ecologist: "Despite a poor harvest last year, Brazil’s ethanol industry is gearing up for expansion with a series of consolidations involving big companies such as Royal Dutch Shell and Petrobras showing it means business."
- "An Institute for European Enviroment Policy study last year claimed that biofuels could create an extra 56 million tonnes of CO2 per year due mostly to deforestation worldwide."
- "Now the industry is keen to show the rest of the world it is cleaning up its act. Producers and the Brazilian government point to more stringent regulation and claim greater mechanisation will in fact eradicate the need for harmful burning."
- "They are also keen to emphasise that the sugarcane ethanol produced in Brazil is a much greener alternative to corn-derived ethanol from the United States or further deforestation of Europe where land is relatively scarce."
- "A sustainability certification, Bon Sucro Standard, has been set up, with a Raizen mill in Maracai the first to be granted sustainability."
- "The problem is chiefly one of regulating Brazil’s vast terrain, especially when it comes to the complex issue of deforestation caused by sugarcane planting."
- EPA Biogenic Carbon Emissions Panel to Begin Work, 3 October 2011 by EESI: "Do bioenergy systems (biofuel, biopower, bioheat) contribute to or mitigate climate change?"
- "The prevailing assumption in federal policies, up until this point, has been that bioenergy systems are, more or less, as climate-friendly and renewable as other renewable energy sources, and, thus, bioenergy is a suitable substitute for climate-damaging fossil fuels."
- "However, this assumption has been questioned in recent years, and the EPA has proposed an 'accounting framework for biogenic CO2 emissions from stationary sources.'"
- "The EPA announced October 3 the formation of the Science Advisory Board Biogenic Carbon Emissions Panel which will conduct the peer review."
- 'World's first' biomass exchange to open in Rotterdam, 3 October 2011 by Business Green: "What has been hailed as the world's first biomass exchange looks set to be launched in Rotterdam from next month, in response to soaring demand for wood chips from the biomass energy industry."
- "Online systems in North America already serve a global market for wood pellets estimated to stand at around 10 million tonnes a year."
- "Countries are increasingly turning to biomass to decarbonise their energy sectors, and experts predict that demand could grow sixfold by 2020."
- "Trading will commence on 3 November with non-cleared products, before a second phase scheduled for 2012 will see the development of clearing services for wood pellets contracts."
- "The new exchange is likely to further fuel the debate over the sustainability of biomass imports."
- "European countries are likely to look abroad to meet future biomass needs, potentially pushing up the price of wood and encouraging deforestation in poorer countries, critics say."
- "However, supporters of biomass power, including the UK Forestry Commission, have repeatedly argued that wood from sustainable forests, where new trees are planted when others are cut down, releases far less carbon than traditional fossil fuels."
- Carbon credits tarnished by human rights 'disgrace', 3 October 2011 by EurActiv: "The reported killing of 23 Honduran farmers in a dispute with the owners of UN-accredited palm oil plantations in Honduras is forcing the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) executive board to reconsider its stakeholder consultation processes."
- "In Brussels, the Green MEP Bas Eickhout called the alleged human rights abuses 'a disgrace', and told EurActiv he would be pushing the European Commission to bar carbon credits from the plantations from being traded under the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)."
- "But because they took place after the CDM's stakeholder consultations had been held, and fell outside the board's primary remit to investigate emissions reductions and environmental impacts, it had been powerless to block project registrations."
- "Last week, proposals were submitted to a CDM board meeting in Quito, Ecuador, addressing the time-lag between project consultations and registrations. But carbon credits from the plantations can still be freely traded on the EU ETS, which allows polluters to offset their carbon emissions by nominally clean energy investments."
- Biofuels may meet development needs of Sub-Saharan Africa, 3 October 2011 by Center for International Forestry Research blog: "Biofuel expansion has enormous potential to stimulate rural development in Sub-Saharan Africa, but ensuring local community benefits and adequate protections for food production and forests will require strategic policy interventions and close collaboration among stakeholders, according to a new study by the Center for International Forestry Research."
- "Biofuels have been touted as a ‘green’ alternative to fossil fuels, however critics of biofuel production argue that the expansion of biofuel development can often contribute to deforestation."
- "Moreover, increasing land acquisition for biofuel expansion rather than food production in Africa could undermine food security and exacerbate a number of underlying social issues."
- "The study urges for increased collaboration between government and the biofuel industry which will ensure that biofuel development can enhance livelihoods by bringing in urgently needed investment in the agricultural sector that would result in improved infrastructure and increased cash income in impoverished rural areas."
- The International Scientists and Economists Statement on Biofuels and Land Use, October 2011 by Union of Concerned Scientists: "When land used for food or feed production is turned over to growing biofuel crops, agriculture has to expand elsewhere. This often results in new deforestation and destruction of other ecosystems, particularly in tropical regions in the developing world. The resulting heat-trapping emissions from clearing new land can be significant and may outweigh any emissions savings from the use of biofuels. Numerous scientific studies have warned about the unintended climate consequences of the indirect land use changes associated with increased demand for biofuels and the need to address the issue by changing existing biofuel policies."
- "Dan Kammen, Stuart Pimm, and many other scientists and economists from across the globe are joining together to make sure that the European Commission includes indirect land use change in its biofuels policies and does not ignore the science behind these calculations...."
- "This letter is open to scientists and economists with a Ph.D. with expertise related to climate, energy, and land use."
- Read the letter, "International Scientists and Economists Statement on Biofuels and Land Use (PDF file)"
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