School of Public Policy paper asks hard questions about biofuel
CALGARY, Dec. 14 /CNW/ - In the world-wide race to develop energy
sources that are seen as "green" because they are renewable and less
GHG intensive, sometimes the most basic questions remain unanswered.
In a paper released today, authors Michal Moore, Senior Fellow, School
of Public Policy at the University of Calgary and Sarah M. Jordaan at
Harvard University in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences,
look at the basic question of whether these energy sources are ethical.
In addition to arguing that the greenhouse gas benefits of biofuel are
overstated by many policymakers, the authors argue that there are four
questions that need to be considered before encouraging and supporting
the production of more biofuel. These questions are:
What is the effect of biofuel production on food costs, especially for
Should more land be used for biofuel when the return of energy per acre
is low? Are there better uses for that land?
In addition to worrying about the impact of global warming, should we
not consider the impact on land of massively expanding biofuel
What are the other economic impacts of large scale production of
"Policymakers, especially in the US, have been in a rush to expand
biofuel protection," says Michal Moore. "But they need to start
thinking outside of the box of climate change and the corn lobby."
"If policy is designed to create better outcomes for everyone, then we
need to subject policy to ethical tests. In many respects, current
policy around biofuels fails those tests."
The paper can be found at www.policyschool.ca then click on "latest papers".
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SOURCE The School of Public Policy - University of Calgary
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