Europe Backtracks on Biofuels

Environmental concerns put 10% quota on hold
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2008 2:42 PM CDT
A cane cutter works in Batatais, Brazil, in this Aug. 28, 2007 file photo.   (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
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(Newser) – The European commission is backing off a proposed 10% biofuels quota as scientists warn that the alternative fuels actually hurt the environment, the Guardian reports. “This is all very sensitive and fast-moving,” said a commission official. “There is now a lot of new evidence on biofuels, and the commission has become a prisoner of this process.”

Many scientists now believe the fuels will exacerbate climate change, the Guardian reports, with an adverse affect on soil, water and biodiversity. One UN official even called them a “crime against humanity,” because they drive up food prices, hurting poor nations to fuel rich ones. The commission now calls the 10% target “secondary,” and one member said he wouldn’t mind totally abandoning it.