Friday 5th June is World Environment Day. Gull is celebrating by discounting its bio fuel. This bio fuel is made from ethanol sourced from milk and sold by Fonterra.
The assumption that bio fuel is good for the environment is that the carbon emissions from it do not add to the store of carbon in the atmosphere, like a fossil fuel emission, because the carbon came from the atmosphere fairly recently via the grass the cow ate.
And this is true but so too is it true for all livestock emissions including methane. How can anyone claim the carbon released in the ethanol is sustainable but the carbon released in the methane is not?
The Government wriggle around this contradiction by justifying the claim that this bio fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions because the carbon emission is accounted for separately. What they are saying is that these emissions are attributed to agriculture. They are not reduced at all they are just hidden down on the farm and the farmer is liable for the emissions from bio fuelled powered cars.
Farmers should not accept this. I am in contact with the Minister for Climate Change Issues and will update you as this unfolds. In the meantime I have an article in next weeks Straight Furrow about bio fuel which covers this in more detail.
At the very least take advantage of this cheap fuel because it is a one day opportunity. Every other day it is you the farmer who is being taken advantage of.