Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Can biofuels reduce climate change emissions?

It is often claimed that biofuels are carbon-neutral because when they are burnt they only release the CO2 that was already in the atmosphere.

There are, however, considerable CO2 emissions from the refinery and distillery process needed to produce biodiesel or bioethanol, as well as from transport, the use of farm machinery, and fertilizer production.

Biodiesel in particular is linked to high emissions of the potent and long-lasting greenhouse gas nitrous oxide, which is released by microbes when nitrogen fertilizers are applied to soils, and also during the production of nitrogen fertilizers. Some, though not all studies, also link biodiesel to higher tailpipe emissions of nitrous oxide and nitrogen oxide. Nitrogen oxide is a precursor to tropospheric ozone, a strong but short-lived greenhouse gas.

And, finally, there are emissions of CO2 from soils as more land is put under the plough.

SE Asia Peat Fires

An urgent email alert run by Ecological Internet urges people to support strong international action against the destruction of peat forests in south-east Asia. Peat drainage and burning is linked to palm oil and timber expansion and logging and is a major contributor to global warming. Emails must be sent before 4th November.

NPower and Palm Oil

Npower (RWE) want to burn palm oil from SE Asia - linked to deforestation, evictions, human rights abuses, and to peat and forest fires causing around three times the greenhouse gas emissions that the Kyoto Protocol is meant to save. Tell Npower to drop their plans!

Thanks to email and letter-writing campaigns, all major UK supermarkets have now agreed to join Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.

More: www.biofuelwatch.org.uk

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am in the process of setting up a free web site dedicated to exposing corporate greed incompetence and indifference. I have been driven to this by the incompetence and indifference of npower. If you look at my site, www.iaccuse.co.uk you will understand what I am talking about. They are obviously just as indifferent to the planet as they are to the individual
I am new to computing and the internet, so my site looks very amateurish at present, but it will improve with time, If you take a look at the site and you are interested, I would like to place a link to your blog. You are amongst the first group of people that I have contacted but you will not be the last. I am trawling the internet looking for all the dirt I can dig up on npower.
You can contact me via the site or you can contact me direct at dankel8@aol.com.
If you have any advice to give, I would be very grateful.

Best regards
Danny Kelly