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Volte face

Friends of the Earth 2004:

The Government should introduce a Biofuels Obligation, to stimulate a UK biofuels industry as a lower carbon alternative to conventional transport fuels. The obligation would require that a proportion of all road transport fuels in the UK should be sourced from accredited renewable sources. Fuel suppliers would either supply the target percentage of biofuel, or choose to pay a penalty. The revenues raised would be proportionately distributed to those who supplied complying fuels, encouraging growth in supply up to the Obligation target. The cost to the consumer is negligible, and it would benefit the economy and environment.

News report 2013:


Friends of the Earth Scotland said there were concerns government proposals for renewable electricity subsidies encourage “large, polluting and inefficient” biomass power stations.

Andrew Llanwarne, of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “We are astonished that the Scottish Government would fund these climate-wrecking projects.”


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Reader Comments (14)

Haaa-ha! (Nelson Mutz)

Jan 22, 2013 at 8:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

They have a logo.

It says 'friends of the earth - see things differently'.

Jan 22, 2013 at 9:16 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

As Instapundit would say, obviously there is less room for graft in the biomass business than in the wind turbine business.

Jan 22, 2013 at 9:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

Too funny.

Except it isn't.

Jan 22, 2013 at 9:48 PM | Unregistered Commentertimg56

FoE - not renowned for the appliance of science or the application of logic.

Jan 22, 2013 at 10:17 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

We have always been at war with Eastasia

Jan 22, 2013 at 11:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterView from the Solent

Am I missing something, or are we talking apples/oranges here? Biofules for transport are quite different to biomass-fired power stations, like Drax.

Jan 22, 2013 at 11:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan_UK

"Biofules for transport are quite different to biomass-fired power stations, like Drax"

Yes. Transport biofuels are even less efficient than biomass power stations.

The proof is that no-one has a cost effective bio-fuel, but quite a few places in the world have efficient non-subsidised bio-mass power (largely because the fuel is waste).

Jan 23, 2013 at 3:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterMooloo

Indeed, Ian_UK, biofules (sic) are quite different as any fuel (sic) kno.
But both are destructive of the environment — one uses land that ought to be used for food especially in a world which, according to the enviro-nuts, is going to be struggling to feed itself within the next century while the other uses fuels which in the case of wood are either barely renewable or are driving up the price of other products (chipboard for example) and none of which do anything very much to reduce CO2 emissions.
And genuine use of waste products (as for example treated sewage pellets) is banned by the EU. Ask the people who run Longannet.

Jan 23, 2013 at 9:41 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

And genuine use of waste products (as for example treated sewage pellets) is banned by the EU. Ask the people who run Longannet.

Err no it isn't. Partially as a result of a misperception by the usually reliable Mr Booker this has now gone down in history as an example of EU stupidity. The reality is that Longannet is a coal fired power station and as such needs to meet the requirements of the Large Combustion Plant Directive. However if it decides to burn waste i.e treated sewage pellets it then also needs to meet the more stringent requirements of the Waste Incineration Directive. At Longannet this would have required an expensive upgrade in the waste gas treatment system which made the process uneconomic.

So it is perfectly legal to burn sewage pellets to produce electricity in the EU, but only if you meet the standards for waste incineration. These standards are of course designed to deal with dioxin release and thus very stringent.

The real problem here is neither the standards of the LCP or Waste Incineration Directive per se but the stupidity of the definition of waste which impedes many other things such as reuse and recycling.

Jan 23, 2013 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

There has indeed been a volte face by FoE on biofuels but unfortunately my Lord Bishop chose the wrong quotation for the more recent position. Instead the following quote from 2012 makes the point rather better

Robbie Blake, biofuels campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said: "The proposed action to limit future EU demand for biofuels is better than nothing, but the fact remains that these reforms would maintain the status quo and make climate change and hunger worse.

"With a new food crisis looming and nearly a billion people on the planet going hungry, we need to stop burning food altogether. Combating global hunger must come ahead of the narrow interests of the big farming lobby and biofuels industry."

Jan 23, 2013 at 11:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

They have a logo.

It says 'friends of the earth - see things differently'.

Shouldn't it add '... from one day to the next'?

Jan 23, 2013 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

...which reminds me of the experimental fuel cell bus running around (what was then Ken Livingstone's ) London, announcing to the world that the only exhaust gas was "'harmless' water vapour".....
Except, of course, it isn't....

Jan 23, 2013 at 3:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Ian_UK - Your point is well made and the Bish is normally a bit more succinct in his postings - BUT actually they have Volte Faced on BOTH accounts.

This underlines a point I made in a couple of threads including postings about NLP. If you are a member of the club you have to go along with anything the leaders of the club say and do. Many people in the Green movement thought bio-fuels in particular were bad idea - they were treated as "deniers" by the very cretins who are now against this stupidity.

Greenpeace and FofE have even tried to blame it all on governments - but the DEMANDS they made of government just 8 to 10 years ago for a bio-fuels %age are easily obtained off the web.

The same is true of bio-mass - where our government is pushing people away from gas heating to heat pumps, even though they are no more efficient in the real world (as opposed to the salesman brochure) - BUT they use electricity which the government will argue is "renewable" mostly from bio-mass burning.

Jan 23, 2013 at 5:48 PM | Registered Commenterretireddave

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