Friday, 4 January 2008

China plans to use more non-grain crops for its biofuels

China is planning to increase the use of biofuels, aiming to use 2 million tonnes of bioethanol and 200,000 tonnes of biodiesel by 2010. By 2020 China hopes to be using 10 million tonnes of bioethanol and 2 million tonnes of biodiesel. This is pretty much in line with other developed countries, but the difference is that China is not going to be using corn as the basis of its biofuel production. Chen Deming, the vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission said: "In the future, all the biofuel production will use non-grain crops." The problem is that using corn and other food crops for biofuel reduces the amount of staple food crops available globally, which means higher prices and less availability, especially for the poorest communities.

This is what is happening in places like Brazil and the USA, but China will not do this according to Chen Deming, who said "By doing this, these countries have increased corn planting and decreased soy acreage, thus raising agricultural prices. Our land is precious, we will not do this," Chen said. China intends to use less productive land to grow crops for biofuels. Good on China, they’re doing something positive to reduce their CO2 emissions without causing food shortages or higher food prices.

[Via Reuters]

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