Bad press hinders European biofuels – BP Biofuels CEO

14 March 2012 21:37  [Source: ICIS news]

ROTTERDAM (ICIS)--European biofuels need a stable investment climate in order to progress, but this is being hindered by negative press, the chief executive of BP Biofuels said on Wednesday.

The industry has not done enough to encourage debate on “biofuels done well”, said Philip New, the chief executive of BP Biofuels.

He was speaking at the seventh annual World Biofuels Markets Conference in Rotterdam.

There is an “antagonising polarisation of debate”, which ensures the positive aspects of biofuels are ignored, he said.

The biofuels industry is being painted in a bad light because of the food-versus-fuels debate and the issue of indirect land use change (ILUC), he said.

Indirect land usage attempts to measure the amount of greenhouse gases a biofuel would emit during its lifetime. For biofuels depending on crops, that would include the pollutants emitted in cropland expansion, ploughing, harvesting and anything else it takes to grow and refine an ear of corn or other crop.

New said ILUC should not be limited to the biofuels industry.

Indirect land use and food versus fuels detract from what New said is the important role biofuels will play in replacing fossil fuels.

“Biofuels done well can contribute to resilience in both global and local terms. Globally it works against volatility in energy prices and, locally, crops and biomass can kick-start an economy out of poverty," New said.

“The bottom line is there is ample biomass potential to provide transport energy without affecting food supply or the environment. We need to ask ourselves how we can reclaim our own narrative," he said.

By: Sarah Trinder
+44 20 8652 3214

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