If grown in socially and environmentally unsustainable ways this jatropha wouldn't get the RSB seal of approval. Photo: Ton Rulkens/Creative Commons.
With all the rightful questions raised about the genuine social and environmental sustainability of biofuels, rest assured that some people are attempting to clear a path forward: WWF is touting the start of the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels Certification System that attempts to create some assurance that biofuels don't do more harm than good--which means they won't impact food crops, do not compete with water, don't result in habitat destruction, and actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions.WWF says any biofuel producer that receives RSB certification will be able to show that their biofuel is responsibly produced, as they will be able to trace the origin of the product along the entire supply chain--which is the good for consumers part.
The whole thing is being pitched in a good for business way too, in as much as being able to show that your biofuel is responsibly produced will give refiners "market recognition as leaders in biofuel sustainable production, which is increasingly important to regulators and major fuels buyers."
OK, so will this or any certification scheme solve the real problems that unchecked biofuel expansion is having in some parts of the world? Not hardly, but it is a step in the right direction.
Read more: Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels Certification System
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EU May Classify Palm Oil Plantations as 'Forests' in Sustainable Biofuels Scheme
Biofuels Cannot Be Called Sustainable in UK Advert: Board Upholds George Monbiot's Complaint