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Biofuels: Is the Cure Worse than the Disease?

Biofuels: Is the Cure Worse than the Disease?

Full Title: Biofuels: Is the Cure Worse than the Disease?
Author(s): R. Doornbosch (Principal Advisor), R. Steenblik
Publisher(s):   OECD
Publication Date: September 1, 2007
Full Text: Download Resource
Description (excerpt):

Biofuels have been championed as an energy source that can increase security of supply, reduce vehicle emissions and provide a new income stream for farmers. These claims are contested, however. Critics assert that biofuels will increase energy-price volatility, food prices and even life-cycle emissions of greenhouse gases. This paper presents salient facts and figures to shed light on these controversial issues and asks whether biofuels offer a cure that is worse than the disease they seek to heal.

The information gathered in this paper gives rise to two fundamental questions:

1. Do the technical means exist to produce biofuels in ways that enable the world to meet demand for transportation energy in more secure and less harmful ways, on a meaningful scale and without compromising the ability to feed a growing population?

2. Do current national and international policies that promote the production of biofuels represent the most cost-effective means of using biomass and the best way forward for the transport sector?

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