Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Monday, July 14, 2008

Gallagher review executive summary

Renewable Fuels Agency (UK)

Biofuels have been proposed as a solution to several pressing global concerns: energy security, climate change and rural development. This has led to generous subsidies in order to stimulate supply. In 2003, against a backdrop of grain mountains and payments to farmers for set-aside land, the European Union agreed the Biofuels Directive. Under this directive, member states agreed to set indicative targets for biofuels use and promote their uptake. Many environmental groups hailed a new revolution in green motoring.

Five years later, there is growing concern about the role of biofuels in rising food prices, accelerating deforestation and doubts about the climate benefits. This has led to serious questions about their sustainability and extensive campaigns against higher targets.

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