Launch day for biofuel additions to petrol and diesel

Today is the first day of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) which obliges all garages to sell petrol and diesel containing two and a half per cent of biofuel, and that will rise to a five per cent inclusion by 2010.

Although some experts have reservations about the source of the plant materials used in some biofuel production, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has said that sustainability reports will have to be published by Renewable Fuels Agency.

Transport minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: "Making it easier for motorists to use greener fuel is an important step towards reducing carbon emissions from transport.

"It should help save millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide in the coming years. We know people are concerned about the environmental risks associated with expanding biofuel production and we take those concerns very seriously. That is why we want to introduce mandatory standards as soon as possible to guarantee that biofuels don’t cause deforestation or food shortages and we are leading international work to do this."

Phil Woolas, minister for the environment, said: "Emissions from transport need to go down if we are to make serious headway in tackling dangerous climate change and this initiative has the potential to deliver considerable carbon savings."

Unfortunately protesters are calling April 15th ‘April Bio-fools day’ since they doubt that enough biofuel will be made from recycled waste oils, and instead will cause deforestation or a diversion of land that could otherwise be used for food production.

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