VICTORY! California Leads in Saying No to Deforestation Biofuels
California is setting the precedent of regulating greenhouse gas emissions from transport fuels [ark]. The regulation requires producers, refiners and importers of gasoline and diesel to reduce the carbon footprint of their fuel by 10% over the next decade. And it launches the state on an ambitious path toward cutting its overall heat-trapping emissions by 80% by mid-century.
Critically, as our recent alert demanded, biofuel's indirect land use impacts [search], starting with corn ethanol, are to be considered when determining a fuel's net impact upon emissions. Looking at the full inputs to corn ethanol — including energy used in planting and transport, land pressures leading to increased deforestation, and coal for distillation — shows it clearly has a sum negative impact upon climate. Careful examination of the inputs and indirect land impacts of other biomass based fuels such as cellulosic biofuels will clearly show the same thing.
Earth has no spare biomass to power our vehicles. Progress is being made on the global campaign to stop fuel production from biomass, particularly at the expense of food and ecosystems. The Earth's terrestrial ecosystems are past their carrying capacity, and rather than increasing pressures upon primary productivity, the human enterprise must power down and enter an era of ecological restoration. Rainforest Rescue and EcoInternet's alert objectives were met and, along with many others, we helped counter the energy industry's extreme pressure. These regulations must now go global and continue to be strengthened.