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Scientist's warning on biofuels

PUBLISHED: 16:56 26 March 2008 | UPDATED: 08:23 28 March 2014

MARCH 26, 2008: The chief scientific adviser at Defra says it would be ‘insane’
to push for more use of biofuels until more is known
about their impact on climate change.

Professor Bob Watson has called for a delay in the introduction of the requirement for a minimum level biofuels to be included in all fuel sold in the UK. His comments were made ahead of the introduction of Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) on April 1, which will set a 2.5 per cent biofuels requirement.

While the new policy has been welcomed by farming organisations as an opportunity for arable farmers, Prof Watson calls for caution.

“If one started to use biofuels… and in reality that policy led to an increase in greenhouse gases rather than a decrease, that would obviously be insane. It would certainly be a perverse outcome,” he said on BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Prof Watson has received support for his stance from former Government chief scientific adviser Sir David King, who joined him in urging Ministers to resist political pressure to push biofuels until more was known about their sustainability.


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