Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Biofuel production 'needs ethical policies'
According to the report 'Biofuels: Ethical Issues', produced by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, existing biofuel policies in developing countries encourage unethical practices and offer few incentives to develop new, more ethical technologies. The expansion of biofuels production in the developing world has led to problems such as deforestation and the displacement of indigenous peoples .The production of biofuels — based on crops such as soya beans, maize, palm oil, rapeseed, sugar cane and wheat — gives rise to a number of social and ethical concerns, including human rights violations; lack of environmental sustainability; failure to reduce carbon use; violations of labour and fair trade rules; and inequitable distribution of costs and benefits. However, these are not a result of the technologies themselves but of the policies that led to their extremely rapid adoption, the report said.
"People have taken the path of least resistance and gone where it is easy in countries where rules are not so stringent," said Ottoline Leyser, associate director of the Sainsbury Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. Full report available on http://www.nuffieldbioethics.org/