Monday, August 20, 2007

Water for biofuels or for food: it's one or the other

Biofuels, hailed by many as the green solution to offset a coming oil shortage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, are not a cure-all solution, experts at a water conference in Stockholm warned this week.

Biofuels, which are made from crops, require huge amounts of water, a resource that is already in short supply in many parts of the world. Bioenergy could thus end up diverting water resources desperately needed for food crops.

...Meanwhile Sunita Narain, the head of the Centre for Science and Environment in India and a prominent expert at the Stockholm conference, said biofuels were "good as an idea, bad in practice."

The main priority should not be how to develop biofuels, but rather how to put a halt to society's increasing fuel consumption, she insisted.

She said it was "asinine" to believe that the world would be able to continue to consume as much biofuel in the future as it does fossil fuel today.
From PhysOrg