Government’s biofuels strategy ‘doomed to failure’

The government’s biofuels strategy will do little to decrease New Zealand’s C02 emissions, while penalising poorer drivers due to higher fuel costs, according to the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson said today:

“The bulk of New Zealand’s C02 emissions come from transport and the farming sector, especially the dairy industry. Any strategy that doesn’t result in fewer wasted car trips and reduced C02 emissions from the dairy industry is doomed to failure.”

“Not only is the proposed biofuels strategy useless, it’s worse than useless, because it gives the false impression that something is actually being done about the problems of high fuel costs and global warming.”

“Cars are the perfect transport for empty roads and the worst transport for busy roads. The problem is not the private car; the problem is the private car sitting in traffic jams while empty trains roll by.”

“Biofuels offer a feelgood factor, and little else. Waste cooking oil would barely power the cars in one Auckland suburb, let alone the whole country. Growing crops to produce to produce biofuels is uneconomic and unethical.”

“Biofuels globally are driving food prices so high that poor people in developing countries can no longer afford to feed their families. Thousands of people will inevitably starve to death so that Western motorists can sit in traffic jams on their way home from work.”

“Fonterra is making ethanol from whey – a waste product from the dairy industry. However, while the use of this ethanol will slightly reduce New Zealand’s emissions of greenhouse gases from cars, this reduction is small compared to greenhouse gas pollution produced by the New Zealand dairy industry. Greenhouse gases from dairy cows have increased 70% since 1990 while emissions from nitrogen fertiliser – largely due to dairy farm expansion – have increased 500%.”

“There’s no quick fix to either the energy shortage or global warming. In the longer term, we’re all going to have to use less energy, and that means smaller houses, less plastic junk that we don’t really need and less wasted trips in our cars.”