IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 18, 2009
"At a time of volatile gas prices and rising concern about global warming, it has become clear that biofuels can play a role in reducing dependence on oil and curbing climate change," said Christopher Flavin, President of Worldwatch Institute. "However, the large and growing scale of the industry make it critical that Congress now make smart choices that promote sustainable biofuels-rather than just more biofuels-as part of a clean energy economy."
"The headlong rush toward biofuels, corn ethanol in particular, has had many consequences, some foreseen and others not," said Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director. "The downside risks to our land, air, water, and economy have become readily apparent, but the good news is that with smart choices we can make biofuels work for the environment, economy, and climate, while enhancing our energy security."
Smart Choices for Biofuels maps a future path for biofuels to ensure that they are more environmentally and socially sustainable and that the use of renewable fuels for transportation contributes to the global effort to reduce global warming pollution. The steps proposed in the report include an accelerated transition to cellulosic feedstocks such as switchgrass and the use of more effective agricultural practices to decrease erosion and soil nutrient depletion. The report also recommends complementary steps beyond improvements in biofuels production, such as the promotion of plug-in hybrid vehicles and increased investments in public transportation, which could also help achieve crucial energy and climate goals.
Finally, the report concludes that if a renewable fuels mandate is to contribute effectively to reducing foreign oil dependence and curbing global warming, it must be reevaluated in light of changing circumstances. Changes in four broad policy categories:sustainability standards, advancing biofuels production and new technologies, creating green jobs, and promoting policy coherence across energy sectors-are detailed in the report.
Club and Worldwatch Institute previously collaborated on biofuels and
sustainability when they released a report in October 2007 focused solely on
The Worldwatch Institute is an independent research organization trusted by opinion leaders around the world for its accessible, fact-based analysis of critical global issues.
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Anne M. Woiwode, State Director
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The bold steps that are needed to solve the climate crisis are exactly the same steps that ought to be taken in order to solve the economic crisis and the energy security crisis - Al Gore