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Biofuels and climate change Biofuels opportunity or threat Biofuelwatch www'biofuelwatch'org'uk intr

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introduced by Dr Andrew Boswell, biofuelwatch and UK Green ... Against/Abstain : 5 (CON) and 2 (LibDem) UK Biofuel law came in. In midst of global food crisis ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Biofuels and climate change Biofuels opportunity or threat Biofuelwatch www'biofuelwatch'org'uk intr


1
Biofuels and climate changeBiofuels
opportunity or threat? Biofuelwatchwww.biofuelw
atch.org.uk introduced by Dr Andrew Boswell,
biofuelwatch and UK Green Party councillor on
Norfolk County Council
2
Summary of presentation
  • Climate Change
  • Key issues for campaigners
  • Policy and Legislation problems
  • Sustainability criteria
  • Demand reduction and policy strategies

3
Climate Change is No 1 global issue
  • Global food crisis, energy costs, peak oil,
    economic/credit crucial too
  • Have less than 10 years to start (Stern etc)
  • Solutions will need to be social, political and
    technical

GHGs
Current trends
90 reductions - industrialised countries
4
Technology for or against climate, ecology and
people?
  • Humanity cannot afford false solutions
  • Climate Change is Complex
  • Life and Earth are part of a whole system
  • must consider systemic view
  • Sound science essential
  • Evidence based approach essential
  • New technologies must be subject to thorough
    scrutiny/review on social, human and ecological
    impacts

5
Energy and Emissions policy- what we would like
to see!
160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20
Current EU energy policy Supply increase
culture
Clean coal
90 carbon emission reduction needed URGENTLY!
Oil shale
nuclear
Half-hearted renewables
Emission reduction policies?
Agro-biofuels?
1990 2000 2010
2020
6
Emission reduction
  • "it would obviously be insane if we had a policy
    to try and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
    through the use of biofuels that's actually
    leading to an increase in the greenhouse gases
    from biofuels."
  • Prof Bob Watson, DEFRA chief scientist
  • Descending the emissions curve is crucial, BUT it
    is not everything we must understand the other
    impacts in the whole system

7
What are key issues for biofuel campaigners?
  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) balances
  • Indirect, Land Use Change (LUC), N2O, CO2
  • Environmental impacts
  • Deforestation, loss of habitats / biodiversity,
    water depletion, soil erosion, chemicals
  • Social impacts
  • Poverty, land grabbing, land conflicts, human
    rights, labour, food security and sovereignty
  • The concerns and calls from many organisations in
    the Global South

8
Agriculture/Land Use already 30-40 of global GHGs
  • Deforestation, agriculture and peat

The Land Use risk Exporting emissions from
Northern transport to Southern agriculture and
land use Also applies to Northern
agriculture (set aside etc)
From Stern Report
Agriculture
Land Use Conversion
9
Agrofuel LUC will create further massive emissions
  • A one-off GHG hit that takes many years to repay
  • Converting rainforests, peatlands, savannas, or
    grasslands to produce food-based biofuels in
    Brazil, Southeast Asia, and the United States
    creates a biofuel carbon debt by releasing 17
    to 840 times more CO2 than the annual greenhouse
    gas (GHG) reductions these biofuels provide by
    displacing fossil fuels.
  • Fargione and Searchinger papers, Science,
    February 2008
  • Peatland rainforest -gt Palm Oil 840 years to
    repay
  • But Palm Oil plantations only 25 years lifetime

10
N20 needs further study
  • microbes convert N fertiliser to N2O
  • Underestimated (IPCC) - Crutzen
  • oilseed rape biodiesel, for example, is up to 70
    worse for the climate than fossil fuel diesel
    (also corn ethanol)
  • UK and EU Biofuels GHG calculations in scientific
    doubt
  • Nitrogen pollution Baltic, Gulf of Mexico

11
UK Government figures NOW in complete scientific
doubt
  • From LowCVP presentation to UK Bioenergy
    conference Sept 2007

LUC
Corn Ethanol -50
Oil Seed rape biodiesel -70
12
Climate Impacts of Agrofuels not on political
radar until recently
  • N2O and LUC GHG science only just emerging
    (although predicted for years)
  • Green fuel greenwash campaign by technologists,
    Government and Industry
  • California - Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program
    LUC data being presented
  • UK Gallagher/RFA review yet to report

13
Food vs Fuel
  • Lester Brown has warned since 2006
  • UN FAO, September 2007
  • Developing countries face serious social unrest
    as they struggle to cope with soaring food
    prices
  • UN FAO, February 2008
  • We will have a significant gap in food aid ,
    and we will need an extra half billion dollars
    just to meet existing assessed needs.
  • Brown summit, April 2008
  • Biofuels highlighted as a key issue

14
Yes, food crisis is not just biofuels
  • Biofuels estimate to be 30 of problem (UN FAO)
  • shock to food prices (Beddington)
  • Commodity Speculation
  • Climate change, poor harvests and droughts
  • Increasing meat consumption India, China

15
Urgent Issues EU/UK Wheat Ethanol Surge
EU Focus has been on biodiesel
16
? UK Legislation RTFO
  • Westminster disquiet, Oct 2007
  • No sustainability criteria until 2011
  • For 10 (LAB de facto whip)
  • Against/Abstain 5 (CON) and 2 (LibDem)
  • UK Biofuel law came in
  • In midst of global food crisis
  • Against warnings of senior scientists / policy
    makers
  • With Gallagher review outstanding
  • UK ministers - Darling/Wicks/Brown/Alexander all
    urging caution
  • LOW PUBLIC CONFIDENCE

17
? EU Legislation
  • Confusion
  • Renewables Directive
  • 10 by volume biofuels by 2020
  • Fuel Quality Directive (FQD)
  • could force up to 26-28 BFs
  • UK / France / Germany
  • all talking of capping targets (ie not above 5)

18
Sustainability criteria (1)
  • Immature discipline
  • Driven by interests of industry and government
  • Where are NGO stakeholders?
  • Enforcement
  • How can agricultural system and supply chains
    across planet be audited?
  • Many omissions
  • Direct and indirect GHGs (leakage)
  • Existing agriculture displaced by agrofuels moves
    into new areas
  • Direct and indirect environmental impacts
  • Deforestation, loss of habitats / biodiversity,
    water depletion, soil erosion, chemicals

19
Sustainability criteria (2)
  • Direct and indirect social impacts
  • Poverty, land conflicts, human rights, labour,
    food security and sovereignty
  • Macro impacts through commodity price shifts not
    handled
  • Amazon deforestation ?? soy price
  • US Corn for ethanol displaces US soy gt soy
    price?
  • EU oilseed rape use causes palm oil prices?
    causes palm oil expansion
  • Start times (holes in a leaky buckets)
  • UK RTFO writes off peat land converted before
    2005
  • EU No GHG target until 2013 for plantations
    before 2008

20
GHG Calculators
  • Largely look at processing side not agriculture
    side
  • Weighted to favour industry
  • Default values often weighted in favour of poor
    GHG biofuels
  • Direct and In-direct land use change (LUC) not
    understood or covered
  • Ditto N2O

21
What went wrong for biofuels?
  • The Green Fuel line over spun by scientists,
    government and industry
  • Environmentalists, Voices from the Global South
    not listened to
  • Government policies driven by
  • Being seen to do something
  • Energy security NOT climate security
  • All the above are lessons for future

22
Second generation BFs etc
  • Technology will not deliver
  • in time (very complex technology)
  • in quantity (scalability issues)
  • EU targets
  • April 2008 In the view of the European
    Environmental Agency Scientific Committee the
    land required to meet the 10  target exceeds
    this available EU arable land area even if a
    considerable contribution of second generation
    fuels is assumed.
  • Cellulosic technology
  • negative energy return (Patzek, Pimental etc)
  • GHG balances wishful thinking?

23
Second generation BFs etc
  • Must be evaluated at complete system level
  • Water / soil depletion?
  • What is most efficient way to harvest solar
    energy?
  • Biodiversity impacts
  • GM fuel crops next to food crops difficult to
    sell to EU citizens

24
National/EU legislation/policy for demand
reduction
  • Strict/robust vehicle efficiency
  • Public transport investment
  • Modal shift
  • Sustainable planning
  • Reduce journeys
  • Big investment into True renewables
  • Marine / big wind / cheap PV / Desert solar?
  • Electric vehicles and electric storage
    technologies / HVDC grid
  • Needs political will/courage

25
Desert Solar or CSP Concentrated Solar Power
26
Descending the transport emissions curve - Demand
reduction is key
160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20
Reduce vehicle emissions by 50 - smaller, more
efficient vehicles
Reduce journeys planning, modal shift, decouple
transport from economy
Reduce liquid fuel plug-in hybrids
Change Supply - Concentrating Solar Power ?
1990 2000 2010
2020
27
Agrofuel Moratorium calls
  • George Monbiot, April 2007, Guardian
  • Southern and Northern NGOs (over 150), July 2007
  • No EU Imports, Large scale mono cultures
  • Jean Ziegler, UN, October 2007
  • Food crisis crime against humanity
  • African NGOs (30), November 2007
  • No global targets, no more African dev.
  • UK MPs Environmental Audit Committee
  • Suspend EU/UK targets

28
Conclusions
  • Moratorium on targets, imports and large scale
    agrofuels is needed NOW
  • Stop rainforest/ecological catastrophe
  • Stabilise food supply, prevent starvation
  • Enhance the evidence base
  • Real public policy debate with NGO and Southern
    stakeholders
  • Looks at BFs in context of whole climate issue
  • Look at the better ways forward
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