Biofuels offer ‘cure worse than the disease’

Biofuels may push up food prices, drive deforestation and have a worse environmental impact than petrol or diesel, a study suggested on Tuesday.

Biofuels have been championed as environmentally-friendly sources of power that help to tackle climate change. However, the report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said biofuels may "offer a cure that is worse than the disease they seek to heal".

The OECD called on governments to cut their subsidies for the sector and focus on reducing energy demand and improving vehicle efficiency.

Environmentalists welcomed the report. "Rushing down the biofuels route will be a huge mistake," said Friends of the Earth biofuels campaigner, Ed Matthew. "The OECD is the latest respected organisation to warn about the social and environmental risks associated with this technology."

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