Campaigners are outraged over airline Lufthansa and German government funding for jatropha biofuels trial
European airline Lufthansa is running a six-month biofuel trail using jatropha
The German government is financing a leading European airline’s biofuel trials despite claims from environmental groups it could cause emissions six time greater than fossil fuels.
A total €2.5 million of government money is being ploughed into the six month biofuel trial run by leading European airline Lufthansa, who will be partly financing the €6.6 million project.
Attempts are being made to source jatropha oil for biofuel test flights which aim ‘at reducing overall emissions in air traffic’. However, environmental groups have raised concerns over the use of jatropha as a biofuel crop. A recent report by ActionAid and RSPB found that the development of jatropha plantations would produce 2.5 to six times more greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuels.
‘Jatropha is far from the ‘sustainable’ fuel that it is made out to be by the aviation industry. In fact, it could end up increasing carbon emissions,’ says Tim Rice, ActionAid’s biofuels expert.
Campaigners believe developing new jatropha plantations leads to the loss of indigenous communities’ farmland and are making life more difficult for people in less industrialised countries.