Ethanol: Eco-Labeled Yet Losing Luster Fast
Svanen, the Swedish eco-labeling association, is putting the finishing touches on an ethanol, methane and biodiesel labeling system that is expected to start popping up at fueling pumps in Sweden by the end of this year. For such a small nation, Sweden has a fairly voracious appetite for ethanol - the country imported 250,000 cubic meters (250 million liters) of ethanol last year - mostly from Brazil - to supply 1000 ethanol pumps and support the super-selling (34,600 in 2007) E85-ready vehicles, as well as many ethanol city and regional buses.
The Svanen biofuels label criteria will be similar to recent EU draft legislation calling for biofuels that are more sustainably produced, don't generate CO2 in production, and are not from newly cleared rainforest, grasslands or peatlands. In the meantime, two Swedish ethanol factories recently shut down before producing any ethanol due to higher raw material prices. As Lester Brown says in his recent book Plan B 3.0, wheat and corn and other grains are liable to reach their "oil price equivalent" if we continue to use them for biofuels. Via ::Svenska Dagbladet (Swedish)