Brussels sued over biofuels report 'cover up'

by Search Gate staff. Published Sun 14 Mar 2010 15:09, Last updated: 2010-03-14
Biofuel plants like Saltend to come under scrutiny

The European Commission is being taken to court over its refusal to release information alleged to show that biofuels do more harm than good.

Britain is required by European law to use renewable sources to meet 10% of its transport needs by 2020 – a target which will be met in large part through the use of biofuels despite questions over their environmental impact.

A coalition representing green groups throughout Europe, including the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) in Britain, wants the European Commission to release 140 documents which detail the negative environmental impact of widespread biofuel use in the EU.

Andrew Davis, director at the Environmental Transport Association (ETA), a British organisation represented in the legal action, said: "Motorists cannot be expected to know the ins and outs of every fuel that is or could be on offer. There must be complete transparency if biofuels are to be seen as credible.

“The refusal of the European Commission to reveal its research seeds further uncertainty about the future of biofuels. People cannot be expected to know the ins and outs of every fuel that is or could be on offer – just as we cannot know the safety of an electrical plug.

“The complexity of the biofuel issue makes a compelling case for a carbon tax - we need a clear, simple and open method to work out the impact that any action makes on the environment and then tax it to reduce its impact.

“We need a body rather like the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee with a brief to ensure that, regardless of any other international action, the average Briton has an impact on climate which is less than the average person in the world – this target to be achieved within two decades by the setting of a carbon tax rate five years in advance.”

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