Chair of European Parliament's agricultural committee discusses biofuels with Wikinews

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sugar cane can be used as a biofuel or food.
Image: Enochlau.

Neil Parish, a Member of the European Parliament and the chair of the Agricultural committee of the European Parliament, was recently interviewed by Wikinews on the subject of biofuels and renewable transport. The interview was held after a workshop was held in the European Parliament on the subject of biofuels.

"I believe that the mixing of biofuels with mineral oils can provide us with significantly cleaner fuel," said Mr. Parish.

In a press release by the European Parliament about the workshop, the legislative body stated some possible disadvantages to biofuels:

In the last year scientific evidence, though disputed, has indicated that biofuels may not be as good for the environment as was once thought. Critics point out that the intensive production of biofuels themselves may add to the release of nitrous oxide - a potent greenhouse gas. Also, the clearing of large tracts of forest to grow biofuels, especially in South America, may lead to the destruction of biodiversity, huge water usage and the felling of forests that act as huge 'carbon sinks'.
The European Parliament
Image: Ala_z.

In the interview Parish also said that encouraging public transport was an important method of combating climate change. Below is the relevant quote:

I believe that the way to deal with pollution caused by motor vehicles is not by making peoples lives more difficult or by pricing them out of their cars without giving them viable and cheap public alternatives. In many rural areas, cars are the only viable way of moving around and we need to remember this.

Mr. Parish also mentioned road pricing in the interview.

On a national level, the British government could look at a road pricing system which could replace the current vehicle tax regime, with revenue being placed back into public transport systems.

Biofuels are often used because they provide a way of limiting the emissions of carbon dioxide. Many people do, however, note that rainforest are destroyed to make space for the production of biofuels.


This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.