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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world

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Bio-energy and CAP Reform: The Gains to Europe and Africa

[Cover of Bio-energy and CAP Reform: The Gains to Europe and Africa]

Dan Plesch, Greg Austin, Fiona Grant, Stephen Sullivan

March 2006 Hard copy: £2.95, plus £1 p+p.

Download Bio-Energy and CAP Reform (270 kilobyte PDF)

Britain is falling behind on all of its climate change and renewable energy targets, even as scientific opinion grows ever more alarmed at the rate of global warming. There is a growing need for urgent and comprehensive action. The government will publish an energy policy review in mid-2005. It cannot be allowed a 'business as usual' approach or a continuation of gradual adjustments. This pamphlet will provide a close look at one area where a radical new approach can produce speedy results.

It argues that British politicians 'need to learn to love their biomass', and look seriously at how farm-produced energy can make a massively bigger contribution to energy security, to climate change policy and to rural development.

An important spin-off from increased British and European production of biomass energy will be a greater capacity to support the energy needs of developing countries, many of which are mainly agricultural economies that have a far greater reliance on biomass. Reduction of the burdens on developing economies imposed by high oil prices will also be an important gain. Bio-energy works all over the globe. It has to play a much bigger part in Britain.