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The Butterfly Effect of EU Biofuels Policy

When a ‘solution’ to an environmental problem triggers a climate disaster.

Like a dream come true, the benefits of biofuels were meant to be far-reaching. They would reduce emissions from transport, create a new market for farmers, and make cars less dependent on foreign oil imports, enhancing energy security.

Thus, in 2003, the European Union took action aimed at replacing the traditional diesel and petrol fuels used in our cars with biofuels.

Now, 10 years later, we are seeing a biofuels-induced butterfly effect. Instead of helping the environment, the biofuels law is actually hurting it. The law has accelerated deforestation, making some biofuels worse for the climate than conventional oil, and has led to an increase in global food prices.

The full story of Europe’s biofuels policy

The story is told in four parts. All the information is backed by scientific evidence from serious think tanks and respected research centres, by articles published in widely-read European media, by interviews with key players – including Members of the European Parliament – and by infographics and documentaries showing the actual effects that biofuels have on climate change and communities around the world.

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