Speak Out on Biofuels: Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels Wants Comments on New Standards
photo: gertrud via flickr
Though the need to move beyond first-generation biofuels and establish codified sustainability criteria has gained wider acceptance over the past year, no one such standard exists and plenty of groups have offered their version of what a ‘sustainable biofuel’ really is. The Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels has been developing their standard, and has released ‘Version Zero’ of this for public comment. The RSB standards are as follows:1. LegalityBiofuel production shall follow all applicable laws of the country in which they occur, and shall endeavour to follow all international treaties relevant to biofuels' production to which the relevant country is a party.
2. Consultation, Planning and Monitoring Biofuels projects shall be designed and operated under appropriate, comprehensive, transparent, consultative, and participatory processes that involve all relevant stakeholders. 3. Climate Change and Greenhouse GasBiofuels shall contribute to climate change mitigation by significantly reducing GHG emissions as compared to fossil fuels.
4. Human and Labor RightsBiofuel production shall not violate human rights or labor rights, and shall ensure decent work and the well-being of workers. 5. Rural and Social DevelopmentBiofuel production shall contribute to the social and economic development of local, rural and indigenous peoples and communities. 6. Food SecurityBiofuel production shall not impair food security.
7. Conservation and BiodiversityBiofuel production shall avoid negative impacts on biodiversity, ecosystems, and areas of High Conservation Value. 8. SoilBiofuel production shall promote practices that seek to improve soil health and minimize degradation. 9. WaterBiofuel production shall optimize surface and groundwater resource use, including minimizing contamination or depletion of these resources, and shall not violate existing formal and customary water rights. 10. AirAir pollution from biofuel production and processing shall be minimized along the supply chain.
11. Economic efficiency, technology, and continuous improvementBiofuels shall be produced in the most cost-effective way. The use of technology must improve production efficiency and social and environmental performance in all stages of the biofuel value chain. 12. Land RightsBiofuel production shall not violate land rights.
Readers wishing to comment on these standards are encouraged to do so by RSB: BioEnergy Wiki Sustainable BiofuelsBiofuels Cannot Be Called Sustainable in UK Advert: Board Uphold’s George Monbiot’s ComplaintSustainable Biodiesel Alliance: The Good Guys Fight BackBiofuel Comparison Chart: The Good, the Bad and the (Really) Ugly