Sustainable/Environmental Biofuel Feedstock is Praised

UK - Rules being published under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation to set new standards on green sustainability, have received praise from the National Farmers' Union.
calendar icon 17 January 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

The National Farmers' Union has lobbied for two years to see these changes take affect. According to them, the new rules will be implemented from April 2008, UK transport fuel retailers will be obliged to blend biofuel under the RTFO (Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation).

 As part of the new rules the Department for Transport has reviewed farm assurance schemes globally and found the UK's Assured Combinable Crops Scheme is one of only six it could find that meet the stringent RTFO qualifying environmental standards.

In its recommendation to the new Renewable Fuels Agency, the Department for Transport includes a list of qualifying standards to meet environmental principles agreed with NGOs, government and industry. These include production of biofuel feedstocks that:

  • do not damage large above or below ground carbon stocks;
  • do not lead to destruction or damage to high biodiversity areas;
  • do not lead to soil or water degradation;
  • do not lead to an increase in air pollution.

The RTFO is a policy designed to result in net environmental improvements, and these measures were put in place with support from the NFU to assure the credibility of biofuels used in the UK.

NFU combinable crops board chairman Arthur Hill said: "Through lobbying, we have achieved something very worthwhile for arable and livestock farmers with the past two years' work on the RTFO, culminating in a set of rules that are fair and consistent with existing trading practice.

"The DfT has now established a challenging target CO2 saving for all biofuel of 50 per cent in 2011 and increased sustainability reporting targets to cover 80 per cent of feedstocks used. These targets are related to the volume of fuels supplied and this is directly in line with NFU requests for a credible and achievable standard."

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