From today, all forecourt fuel will contain some bio-fuel. It’s the Govt’s latest move to cut greenhouse gases.

The fuel you pump into your car’s tank changes from today.

The Department for Transport has ordered that petrol and diesel must from now contain at least 2.5% bio-fuel – made from plants. The change should make any difference to the way your vehicle runs.

But, says the Government, it promises to save 2.5m tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2010.

The plan is to double this amount to 5% within two years as it is required to do under EU law.

But the move has already attracted criticism from the World Bank, which believes that the growth in demand for biofuel means agriculture is growing crops for this instead of to feed the world’s poorest people. World prices of basic foodstuffs such as rice are soaring, pushing the cost to crisis levels in the least well-off countries. One of the problems is that there is no way of guaranteeing that farmers won’t switch from food to biofuel crops, or that in some parts of the world forests aren’t chopped down to clear space for growing.

The DfT however, says the UK has done more than any other country to encourage growers to produce sustainable biofuels that do not harm the environment. It asks suppliers to report where the crops come from and the level of carbon savings likely.

Stephen Jury


April 16, 2008

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