Information taken from Africa Weekly, Edition 1:16 and UNEP

Nairobi, 16 October 2009 - Governments should fit biofuels into an overall energy, climate, land-use, water and agricultural strategy if their deployment is to benefit society, the economy and the environment as a whole. The report, the first by UNEP's International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management, says some first generation biofuels such as ethanol from sugar cane can have positive impacts in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

However, the way in which biofuels are produced matters in determining whether they are leading to more or less greenhouse gas emissions. Conditions under which production of biofuels does lead to higher emissions have been identified in the report.

The production and use of biodiesel from palm oil on deforested peatlands in the tropics is cited. It can lead to significant increases in greenhouse gas emissions-up to 2,000 percent or more when compared with fossil fuels.

The report "Towards Sustainable Production and Use of Resources: Assessing Biofuels" is based on a detailed review of published research up to mid-2009 as well as the input of independent experts world-wide.

It has been written to assist governments and industry in making sustainable choices in an area that over the past few years has become deeply divided while triggering sharply polarized views.

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Read the Report

The report 'Towards Sustainable Production and Use of Resources: Assessing Biofuels' is available at, and