The Biofuel Timebomb

Article by Dr Andrew Boswell

This article was first published in Trees, the publication of the Journal of the
International Tree Foundation
, December 2007, as UNFCCC, Bali, started. This article is an overview review of the threats to trees from mass scale biofuels development across a number of developing aspacts: deforestation, peat destruction, energy generation from oils, wood-based biodiesel production, GM technology, and regulatory failure.

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References

    Introduction

  1. See for example, 71% growth in predicted energy between 2003 and 2030, figures 8 and 10 in http://tinyurl.com/2wc8mq
  2. “Declarations From The South” on biofuelwatch website, http://tinyurl.com/2bn5mn
  3. The flow of palm oil. Colombia- Belgium/Europe. A study from a human rights. Perspective, HREV/CBC, http://tinyurl.com/2b8t5f
  4. Massacres and paramilitary land seizures behind the biofuel revolution, Guardian, 5/06/07, http://tinyurl.com/3y8wjj
  5. Agrofuels – Towards a reality check in nine key areas – Biofuelwatch, Carbon Trade Watch/TNI, Corporate Europe Observatory, Econexus, Ecoropa,Grupo de Reflexión Rural, Munlochy Vigil, NOAH (Friends of the Earth Denmark), Rettet Den Regenwald and Watch Indonesia, http://tinyurl.com/233x7n
  6. Stop the agrofuel craze!, GRAIN, http://tinyurl.com/2hkkzp
  7. Open Letter to EU from 250 NGOs, http://tinyurl.com/2vgtke
  8. EU Agrofuel Moratorium Call, http://www.econexus.info/agrofuel-moratorium-call
  9. Emission Trickery

  10. “Green Gold Biodiesel: Players in Indonesia” , Marianne Kulte, Watch Indonesia, http://tinyurl.com/33lb7r
  11. Greenpeace, Protecting Papuan forests important to help avert climate catastrophe, August 2007, http://tinyurl.com/yp3qbk
  12. Page 171, Stern Review, Chapter 7 Projecting the growth of greenhouse gas emissions http://tinyurl.com/2pvzdd
  13. Malaysia calls for sustainable expansion of palm oil plantations, International Herald Tribune, 5/12/06, http://tinyurl.com/2trdr4 – (archived at http://tinyurl.com/64vl6k4)
  14. Policy, practice, pride and prejudice, Review of legal, environmental and social practices of oil palm plantation companies of the Wilmar Group in Sambas District, West Kalimantan (Indonesia), July 2007 report by Milieudefensie, Lembaga Gemawan and Kontak Rakyat Borneo, http://tinyurl.com/ysop5j
  15. Deforestation, biodiversity losses and palm oil in http://tinyurl.com/233x7n
  16. Uganda leads the Way in Grassroots Protest

  17. biofuelwatch alert – http://tinyurl.com/3x2n37
  18. Uganda’s forests in the balance, World Birdwatch magazine, July 2007, http://tinyurl.com/335r5r
  19. eg at http://tinyurl.com/38jhqt
  20. Birdlife International, http://tinyurl.com/2qpqj4
  21. Uganda scraps plan to cut rainforest for palm oil, Reuters, http://tinyurl.com/2s9yeg
  22. Peatland

  23. Peat CO2, Wetlands International http://tinyurl.com/3cqjhr
  24. The bog barons: Indonesia’s carbon catastrophe, Fred Pearce, New Scientist, December 1st 2007, http://tinyurl.com/2dl6hq
  25. Global warming: Met Office predicts plateau then record temperatures, http://tinyurl.com/ynmdxb
  26. Carbon Mitigation by Biofuels or by Saving and Restoring Forests?, Science August 17th 2007, http://tinyurl.com/ytcqa8
  27. Carbon Mitigation by Biofuels or by Saving and Restoring Forests?, Science August 17th 2007, supporting online material, http://tinyurl.com/2pmww5
  28. Energy from Oil Crops

  29. Co-generation in Europe, Fiona Riddoch, page 45, Co-Generation and On-site Power, August 2007, http://tinyurl.com/yr7rog
  30. Wärtsilä leads Italian liquid biofuels power market, http://tinyurl.com/3xa4wl
  31. European Market Study for BioOil (Pyrolysis Oil), Climate Change Solutions, http://tinyurl.com/2fvwh5
  32. Pulp Friction

  33. The pulp industry and the biofuels boom, World Rainforest Movement , Nov 2006, http://tinyurl.com/22bn4s
  34. For more on industrial tree plantations, see http://www.chrislang.org and http://tinyurl.com/2sr7br
  35. Stora Enso and Neste Oil to join forces in biofuel development, http://tinyurl.com/3dklrz and http://tinyurl.com/36wr7r
  36. eg gasification and Fischer-Tropsch technologies
  37. Biodiesel Generations, Neste Oil presentation, http://tinyurl.com/yvymkr
  38. Challenges and Opportunities offered by Biofuels for the Finnish Forest Cluster, Stora Ensa presentation, http://tinyurl.com/26l8kd
  39. Stora Enso, Deutsche BankSeminar Nov 2006, http://tinyurl.com/2e8muq
  40. Portocel, http://tinyurl.com/3afv38
  41. Brazil: Indigenous Peoples re-start actions to take back their land from Aracruz, World Rainforest Movement , July 2007, http://tinyurl.com/yoehjr
  42. Letter from indigenous peoples and 347 groups to Forest Stewardship Council against FSC seal for Veracelmonoculture eucalyptus plantations, August 14th 2007, World Rainforest Movement, http://tinyurl.com/2ny2oz
  43. Changing Nature

  44. Alternet: Frankenforests: GE Trees Threaten Ecosystem Collapse, August 2007, http://tinyurl.com/28az3d
  45. Large Alliance of NGOs and Indigenous Peoples Calls for Ban on Genetically Modified Trees for Biofuels, July 2007, http://tinyurl.com/2mg2ok
  46. Global Justice Ecology Project, Stop GE Trees, http://tinyurl.com/2sc9u5
  47. Regulation Failure

  48. Biofuels switch a mistake, say researchers, Guardian 17/8/07, http://tinyurl.com/2zr6cl
  49. Renewables Transport Fuel Obligation, UK Department for Transport, http://tinyurl.com/2ahhm2
  50. Comment and discussion of RTFO, biofuelwatch message board, http://tinyurl.com/3ym9ms
  51. Biofuels are displacing people, Andrew Boswell, http://tinyurl.com/ypxkcc
  52. ‘Reduced Emissions From Deforestation’: Can Carbon Trading Save Our Ecosystems?, Almuth Ernsting, Deepak Rughani, http://tinyurl.com/2o65wh
  53. Reducing Demand

  54. George Monbiot, Heat, http://tinyurl.com/yttp3v
  55. High Stakes: Designing emissions pathways to reduce the risk of dangerous climate change, ippr, http://tinyurl.com/2wq27t
  56. See ‘demand reduction’ slides in presentation by author at http://tinyurl.com/yr82gv
  57. Deep emission cuts, Andrew Boswell, Daily Telegraph letters, January 2007, http://tinyurl.com/22fy6s
  58. For more on concentrated solar power, see TREC-UK, http://tinyurl.com/2h2o36
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