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Best Practices voor een duurzame toekomst
11 oktober 2008

Dutch restriction on bio fuels

According to Friends of the Earth the Netherlands (FOE) the governments decision is insufficient. Instead the organisation wants a maximum of 2.5 percent in 2010. Nevertheless the organisation admits that its fierce condemnation of the former Dutch bio fuel policy has evidently touched the right chord. "But the government is still focussing too much on percentages as we are focussing on the sustainability of the production of bio fuels", says FOE campaigner Anne van Schaik. She continues, "oil palm plantations for example can easily lead to deforestation and competition for land with local farmers." Van Schaik has no confidence in the criteria the Dutch government has developed for a sound bio fuel production. "In the case of oil palm those criteria are on the plantation level, not on a macro level. So they are no guarantee for sustainability at all."

Both FOE and the Dutch government may find support for their points of view in the influential Gallagher-report, published this summer at the behest of the British Ministry of Transport. The report states that bio fuels have a future on condition that production does not take place on arable land suitable for agriculture. Therefore, the production of bio fuels should grow more gently, with lower target figures, says the report.

Last week FOE published a report in which plans for 29 Dutch bio fuels production facilities were revealed. Together they will produce 3 million tonnes of bio diesel by 2011 with a capacity of 5 million tonnes. Ten facilities will be able to process soy. The majority of the facilities, however, have no idea where the soy comes from nor how it is produced.

P+ webtip: Friends of the Earth Netherlands