UN urges caution on biofuels development

Inter-agency report advises governments to ensure production is managed sustainably

The UN has issued a warning about the potential negative environmental and social impacts of biofuel production as global demand for alternatives to oil-based fuels surges.

In a report released on Tuesday a group of UN agencies advises governments to take a cautious approach to developing biofuels. It says negative impacts could outweigh benefits if production is not managed sustainably.

Compiled by inter-agency body UN-Energy, the report was presented at the fifteenth annual session of the UN's commission on sustainable development in New York, where governments are discussing a number of issues, including sustainable energy. Biofuels policies must protect threatened land and promote socially acceptable land use, it says.

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