24 March 2010 22:23 [Source: ICIS news]
SAO PAULO (ICIS new)--Biofuels will continue to face sustainability battles in the coming years, an industry group said on Wednesday, calling on the sector to ready itself for the challenges ahead.
“This time we need to be prepared … we were not last time,” said European Bioethanol Fuel Association (eBio) director Robert Vierhout, referring to the food-versus-fuel controversy that wreaked havoc in the industry in 2007.
Vierhout expects biofuels to still take flak from the food-versus-fuel issue, but he said the main challenge for 2010 is to close the debate on indirect land use change (ILUC) emissions.
“There is a lot of aggressive … [complaints] against biofuels on this ILUC issue by [nongovernmental organisations],” the official said, adding that if the challenge is not addressed with convincing science it could kill the industry.
Whether it would be ethanol coming Brazil or from Europe, it does not matter, as this is the most important issue to be resolved this year, Vierhout said.
“We hope we can resolve it in a decent way,” he said on the sidelines of FO Licht’s Sugar and Ethanol Brazil 2010 in Sao Paulo.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California have used ILUC to assess emissions from biofuels, in both cases drawing sharp criticism from the US ethanol industry.
The 2010 Sugar and Ethanol Brazil conference opened on Tuesday. The two-day event was organised in partnership with IBC Brasil.
For more on ethanol, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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