2.4 Contradictory carbon reduction policies: biofuel targets
Also causing concern over deforestation was the mandatory biofuel target endorsed by the EU on agreeing the Renewable Energy Directive in 2007. The 10% mandatory ‘renewable energy for transport’ target was adopted for each member state by 2020 and, with ‘renewable sources’ being read as ‘biofuels’, was in effect a biofuel target. Owing to evidence that biofuel production led quickly to increased deforestation (a large contributor to CO2 levels) food shortages and poverty, the agreement was reworked in September 2008 to introduce an interim target of 5% biofuel use by 2015, with a review in 2014 to consider the sustainability of reinstating the original target.
Given the potential for both humanitarian and environmental abuses under REDD in its current form, can you think of three ways it might be reformed to make it both effective and equitable?
Given the evidence presented to the EU about problems associated with biofuels, why do you feel that the Renewable Energy Directive was agreed with a mandatory biofuels target?