Speak Out on Biofuels: Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels Wants Comments on New Standards

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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. Legality
Biofuel 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 Gas
Biofuels shall contribute to climate change mitigation by significantly reducing GHG emissions as compared to fossil fuels.

4. Human and Labor Rights
Biofuel production shall not violate human rights or labor rights, and shall ensure decent work and the well-being of workers.
5. Rural and Social Development
Biofuel production shall contribute to the social and economic development of local, rural and indigenous peoples and communities.
6. Food Security
Biofuel production shall not impair food security.

7. Conservation and Biodiversity
Biofuel production shall avoid negative impacts on biodiversity, ecosystems, and areas of High Conservation Value.
8. Soil
Biofuel production shall promote practices that seek to improve soil health and minimize degradation.
9. Water
Biofuel 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. Air
Air pollution from biofuel production and processing shall be minimized along the supply chain.

11. Economic efficiency, technology, and continuous improvement
Biofuels 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 Rights
Biofuel production shall not violate land rights.

Readers wishing to comment on these standards are encouraged to do so by RSB: BioEnergy Wiki
Sustainable Biofuels
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