Nature Blog Network Future Earth: “It’s not easy being green”

Thursday, 29 November 2007

“It’s not easy being green”

Kermit was right – and “being green” is becoming increasingly complex in this globalised world.

In 2003 EU Politicians thought they were brushing up their green credentials nicely by creating the EU Directive on Biofuels. This set a target that all fuel in the EU would be 5.75% from biofuel sources by 2010. Great – less burning of limited fossil fuels, more of stuff we could grow ourselves.

What happened? Massive conversion of land to biofuel production of course (couldn’t they see this coming?)... Increasing the rate of deforestation in places like Indonesia and Malaysia, leading to phenomenal amounts of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere.

Consider this.....a four-million hectare peatland forest in a province in northern Sumatra stores 14.6 gigatons of carbon dioxide. Indonesia is now the third-largest emitter of carbon dioxide, after the USA and China.

We’ll come back to biofuels on this blog, but I’ll leave you with the words of a UN report just released in the run-up to the UN Conference on Climate Change in Bali next week.

“Deforestation to make way for large-scale mono-cropping of energy crops obliterates the ‘green credentials’ of the biofuel.’’

Back to the drawing board – sharpening up the green pencil.....!

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