Monday, October 22, 2007

Rich nations’ huge biofuel subsidies distort carbon market, says study

From Bioenergy Business:

There is little rationale for the huge subsidies given for the production and use of biofuels and the subsidies are not a cost-effective way of cutting fossil fuel use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to new studies.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries are likely to provide $13–15bn of subsidies for biofuels this year and the total could rocket to meet new biofuel targets, said the Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

It said that the carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reductions through use of biofuels in OECD countries was costing $150–1,500/t of CO2. In comparison, CO2 is currently €22/t in the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme. The GSI warned that subsidies therefore risked "crowding out investment in other technologies that may be much more sustainable, both commercially and environmentally"....MORE