Monday, January 04, 2010
Full text of letter sent to the Times
Your selection of Greenergy for second place in "Britain's green rich list" (Sunday Times, 27th Dec 2009) flies in the face of the overwhelming evidence that large scale biofuel production is a solution to either climate change or peak oil and merely supports the successful greenwash campaign of the biofuel industry.
It has been overwhelmingly demonstrated that the energy and CO2 emissions associated with growing, harvesting, transporting and land clearance for biofuel far exceed any benefits. The Gallagher report also made absolutely clear that even if biofuel production did not directly lead to environmental destruction through activities such as tropical rainforest clearance, then the indirect effects due to displacement of food production were just as bad.
Greenergy is part owned by Tesco and also a major supplier of biofuel to Tesco. Shortly after Tesco's acquisition of Greenergy they claimed, "Tesco are already the UK's largest supplier of biofuel and aim to double the amount sold." I organised an email protest against the catastrophic environmental destruction this would inevitably cause through my blog, http://kevsclimatecolumn.blogspot.com/ and we challenged Tesco to demonstrate that their biofuels, and hence Greenergy's, were environmentally sustainable.
Tesco totally failed. They attempted to commission a £5million study with the Sustainable Consumption Institute at Manchester University to validate their's and Greenergy's position, but so flawed is the arguement that biofuel can be sustainable they could not even agree a remit.
The end result was that Tesco withdrew the claims on its web site with a statement that they recognised their initial enthusiasm for biofuel was misplaced. However as a result of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), which the biofuel industry so successfully lobbied for, they continue to sell unsustainable biofuel and profiteer from their continued shareholding of Greenergy.