Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biofuels benefit billionaires

Date:
October 11, 2012
Source:
Inderscience
Summary:
Biofuels will serve the interests of large industrial groups rather than helping to cut carbon emissions and ward off climate change, according to new research.

Biofuels will serve the interests of large industrial groups rather than helping to cut carbon emissions and ward off climate change, according to research to be published in the International Journal of Environment and Health this month.

Simone Vieri of the University "La Sapienza" of Rome, Italy, explains that, in its policies to combat climate change, the European Union has planned to increase to 10% the share of fuel derived from biofuels on the market by 2020. It has focused attention on first-generation biofuels, made from the conversion of plant material which can be grown specifically for fuel production, such as corn, soy, sugarcane or palm oil. It has given only a secondary role to second-generation biofuels, made from agricultural and woody crop biomass, including waste and by-products.

Vieri suggests that, "In 2020 the EU won't be able to keep to its 10% biofuels goal using only European agricultural production, but will have to continue importing the greatest part of raw materials, or biofuels." In this frame, Vieri explains that, "The EU's decision to focus on the first-generation biofuels, raises many doubts." In particular, the approach seems to favour several issues. For instance, it favours production systems that are in competition with traditional agriculture for use of resources and production factors, he says. Additionally, to encourage agro-industrials models, such as those on which the production of first generation biofuels is based, might compromise the possibility of developing models based on multifunctional agriculture and, then, on the production of energy from agriculture waste and by-products rather than from dedicated products.

The adoption of first-generation biofuels sometimes leads to exploitation of human and environmental resources of poorer countries, adds Vieri, as they are commonly the source of many of the agricultural raw materials used for production of biofuels. Moreover, agricultural production processes that change land use can lead to zero net benefit in terms of emissions reduction.

Other problems that arise when reliance is placed on first-generation biofuels lie with the economics. Financial market speculation strengthens the link between the price of oil and the price of the main agricultural raw materials, Vieri says. Furthermore, an increase, or instability of agricultural products' prices, weighs heavily on poorer nations and their food security.

In this context "the choice to promote first generation biofuels is an example of how politics places the protection of the interests and profit strategies of a restricted number of subjects before the costs and benefits to be had on a wider scale," adds Vieri.

Vieri adds that the "green economy" model might break new ground if it were to prove able to facilitate reduced emissions and allow economic growth and development with direct benefit to society itself rather than the profits of multinationals.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Simone Vieri. Biofuels and EU's choices. International Journal of Environment and Health, 2012; 6 (2): 155 DOI: 10.1504/IJENVH.2012.049330

Cite This Page:

Inderscience. "Biofuels benefit billionaires." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121011085340.htm>.
Inderscience. (2012, October 11). Biofuels benefit billionaires. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121011085340.htm
Inderscience. "Biofuels benefit billionaires." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121011085340.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Over 53 tons of rotting fish have been removed from Lake Cajititlan in western Jalisco state. Authorities say that the thousands of fish did not die of natural causes. (Sep. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Iceland Volcano Spewing Smoke

Raw: Iceland Volcano Spewing Smoke

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — The alert warning for the area surrounding Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano was kept at orange on Tuesday, indicating increased unrest with greater potential for an eruption. Smoke is spewing from the volcano, and lava is spouting nearby. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Halliburton Reaches $1B Gulf Spill Settlement

Halliburton Reaches $1B Gulf Spill Settlement

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Halliburton's agreement to pay more than $1 billion to settle numerous claims involving the 2010 BP oil spill could be a way to diminish years of costly litigation. A federal judge still has to approve the settlement. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins