Keywords: biofuels, UK Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation, RTFO, industrial symbiosis, biofuel feedstock, greenhouse gases, GHG, world food supplies, United Kingdom, industrial ecology, global warming, sustainable development, sustainability, eco-inefficiencies, sustainable energy, habitat loss, carbon sinks, global hunger, resource management
The role of industrial symbiosis in promoting bio-fuel feedstock uses for UK food and fibre production
The UK government has promoted bio-fuels as a major contribution in tackling global warming and realising its sustainable development objectives. However, there is now clear evidence that first-generation bio-fuels suffer from serious eco-inefficiencies. UK bio-fuel policy instruments, far from supporting the development of sustainable energy alternatives, may in fact be adding to habitat loss, damaging carbon sinks and deepening the problems of global hunger. To ensure that bio-fuels ameliorate rather than aggravate the problems of resource management, the technological fixes available need to be combined with greater awareness of their wider ramifications. Had policy-makers applied the principles of industrial symbiosis rather than adopting a silo mentality when shaping a policy with respect to bio-fuels, they could have avoided many of these unintended detrimental consequences.