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EU Should Rethink Biofuels Target: Lord Stern

By Anna Martin, CNBC Europe Anchor
Wednesday, 16 Apr 2008 | 2:51 PM ET

The European Union should rethink its target of having 10 percent of transport fuel coming from biofuels by 2020, to avoid encouraging deforestation and the use of arable land, Lord Nicholas Stern, former UK Government Advisor on Climate Change and Author of the Stern Review, told CNBC Europe.

The EU's target has come under increased fire from environmentalists and charities, who say that biofuels crops cut down on land available for growing food and will cause irreversible problems.

EU Should Rethink Biofuels Target: Lord Stern
The author of "the Stern Review" on the economic impact of climate change, Lord Nicholas Stern, talks to CNBC Europe about biofuels and climate change.

"On biofuels, I think that to promote corn-based and sugar-based biofuels is a real problem," Lord Stern told CNBC Europe.

"It pushes out food, possibly encroaches on forests as well. They use fertile land."

He said crops of biofuels should use only land that is not utilized for growing food, and asked if the EU should revisit its targets, said: "I think it should have another look at them."

The big issues facing the world this century are poverty and climate change, and they are related, Lord Stern said, citing as example the recent drought in Australia which affected wheat output.

-- Writing by CNBC.com

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