The airline industry's insatiable demand for fuel is bad news for the environment. But can biofuels provide the solution, asks David Strahan.

What are the impacts of the increasing spread of biofuels on access to land in producer countries, particularly for poorer rural people? Biofuels could revitalise rural agriculture
and livelihoods

In a world of rapidly rising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and growing unease about imported oil, the appeal of renewable fuels is growing apace. Biofuels

Four broad types of studies on rural development and bioenergy technologies are identified. Within these four types, this discussion paper presents a number of existing studies which are most relevant in the context of developing a research focus on the role, feasibility and issues associated with bioenergy, and in particular biofuels, as engine for rural development in developing countries.

The role envisioned for liquid biofuels for transport has come under increased scrutiny in the past year or two, due to the potential social and environmental impacts associated with scaling up biofuels production and use from its low level

While the global debate rages on whether the biofuel revolution is causing imbalances in food security systems and increasing the greenhouse gas emissions the

Soaring food prices and starving children provide a stirring backdrop to Europe's debate on its biofuels targets, but the big businesses of farming, forestry and automotive could have a heavier influence on policy. The green credentials of biofuels have come under attack in recent weeks over fears they compete for farming land and push up food prices around the world. Riots over food in more than a dozen countries, from Indonesia to Haiti, have added urgency to the debate.

The production of clean energy for transportation makes demands on resources that are already scarce. Biofuels can contribute to a solution, but only to a limited extent. (Editorial)

Biofuels, once seen as a key factor in curbing greenhouse gas emissions, are behind the current global food crisis, major oil producers and consumers charged at an energy forum here on Monday. "A conflict (is) emerging between foodstuffs and fuel ... with disastrous social conflicts and dubious environmental results,' outgoing Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi told the International Energy Forum here as rising food prices worldwide raise the spectre of famine in some countries.

ROME - Biofuels will not solve the world's energy problem, the chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell said on Sunday, amid growing criticism of their environmental and social benefits. The remarks follow protests in Brazil and Europe against fuels derived from food crops. Food shortages and rising costs have set off rioting and protests in countries including Haiti, Cameroon, Niger and Indonesia.