Conversion of arable land to produce biofuels should be forbidden for five years, until science has made enough progress to create “second-generation” biofuels. This is the recommendation of a UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. See Swissinfo for more on this story. Science Magazine Nature also has an editorial questioning corn-based biofuels (“Kill king corn“). The excellent Biopact blog questions the EU’s and US support for domestic biofuels production refering to a new think tank report of the International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council (IPC): “domestic biofuels are not very energy efficient, they do not offer significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, they are not cost effective, they push up food prices and they are based on large amounts of subsidies and protectionist trade barriers“.
There is an urgent need for standardised carbon reporting according to a letter written to the UK government by the Aldersgate Group, a coalition of leading UK businesses, environmental NGOs and members of parliament. “Despite improvements in the number of companies disclosing information on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, current reporting levels are still too low, and what is disclosed is not comparable because of the use of different calculation methods“. Read the Guardian for more.