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Biofuels: Environment Protection

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research his Department is undertaking on the environmental impact of biofuels. (202824)

The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) includes a reporting mechanism under which any transport fuel supplier wishing to claim a certificate in respect of any biofuel must submit a report detailing its environmental impacts. These reports will enable the Renewable Fuels Agency (RFA) to report regularly on the progress that is being made towards meeting targets under the obligation, as well as on the carbon savings and sustainability impacts of the policy.

In response to Government concern about the indirect impacts of biofuel cultivation, the chairman of the Renewable Fuels Agency is leading a study commissioned by the Department for Transport (the Gallagher Review) which is looking at effects of biofuels on land use change and the consequences for greenhouse gas savings. It is also examining the effects on international food prices and food security. The results of the review will inform the development of future UK biofuel policies and targets, including proposed EU targets for future biofuel consumption.