Thursday, December 2, 2010

EU biofuel target not evidence-based



New research by the University of Oxford concludes that in the EU's decision for a 10% biofuel target in the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) "a policy-based evidence gathering mode" was employed.

It finds that short-termism and territorially bounded outlooks that favour individual industries appear to have dominated European policy at the expense of a longer-term perspective and that the RED is motivated by objectives other than GHG emissions reduction and that the EU used the 10% target as a bargaining chip to achieve these objectives.

The study concludes that the commitment of EU decision-making bodies to internal guidelines on the use of expertise and the precautionary principle was questionable, despite the scientific uncertainty inherent in the biofuels debate. Imperatives located in the political space dominated scientific evidence and led to a process of `policy-based evidence gathering' to justify the policy choice of a 10% renewable energy/biofuels target.


"Evidence-Based Policy or Policy-Based Evidence Gathering? Biofuels, the EU and the 10% Target"

Amelia Sharman and John Holmes
1 Ministry of Economic Development, Wellington, New Zealand
2 Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, UK

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Biofuels are a wide range of fuels which are in some way derived from biomass.

Your idea?