Chinese biofuel ‘a threat to biodiversity’

Using China's forests and 'idle land' to produce biofuels could pose a serious threat to biodiversity, SciDev.net reported international experts as saying earlier this month.

China’s renewable energy plan, released last year, promotes the development of non-grain biofuels like cassava- and sorghum-based ethanol and jatropha-based biodiesel.

Companies and government agencies in Sichuan and Yunnan have now revealed ambitious plans to develop jatropha-based biodiesel projects, the report added.

But these same areas have an important role to play in maintaining the country’s biodiversity. "The region of southwest China targeted for
biofuels coincides with the home of the last remaining intact natural forests in China," Spike Millington, chief technical advisor to the European Union-China Biodiversity Programme, was quoted as saying.

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