UN admits that growing crops to produce biofuel is bad for environment

The London Telegraph claims to be in possession of a leaked UN IPCC report which says in effect that growing crops to make “green” biofuel [ethanol and biodiesel] harms the environment and drives up food prices.” See Telegraph story here. The UN will publish the report on March 31. It will be interesting to see if the final version is the same as the “leaked” version. If so, then the story will represent a reversal of UN “scientific consensus” on biofuels.

The Telegraph story says “that biofuels, rather than combating the effects of global warming, could make them worse.”

As I noted in an ADI story last November, “…the ethanol era has proved far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today…As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and polluted water supplies…Five million acres set aside for conservation — more than Yellowstone, Everglades and Yosemite national parks combined — have vanished on Obama’s watch.” The biofuels industry is heavily subsidized and about 40 percent of U.S. corn crop goes to produce ethanol rather than being used as food.

In a Telegraph story published last December, The Great Biofuels Scandal, Bjørn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, wrote, “The biofuel story is a perfect example of good intentions leading to terrible outcomes. Moreover, it is a lesson on how powerful, pseudo-green vested interests can sustain a bad policy. Hopefully, it will also be a story of how reason can prevail in the divisive climate debate.”

The Telegraph notes, “Studies show that as land is dedicated to energy crops, land for food is simply taken from other areas – often forests – leading to substantial CO2 emissions. And processing biofuels emits CO2, drastically reducing benefits.”

For more on ethanol in ADI, see: Ethanol mandate fails economically and environmentally

In my Wryheat blog, see : Biofuels program destroying grasslands in American Midwest

EPA, ethanol, and catch 22

Ethanol fuel not as green as you think

Ethanol from Sugarcane, not so green