SERIOUS MONDAY : VIRGIN ATLANTIC FIRST BIOFUEL POWERED PLANE FLIGHT CRITICISED

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Virgin Atlantic has come under fire for an ‘environmental con-trick’over its first flight involving a plane powered partly by biofuel.

Greenpeace says production of the biofuel it used (babassu nut and coconut oil) could be responsible for massive greenhouse gas emissions. And it says Virgin’s support for a third runway at Heathrow Airport  betrays the company’s real attitude towards climate change.

Greenpeace chief scientist Dr Doug Parr said: “Despite what Virgin want us to believe, today’s flight is nothing short of high altitude greenwash. This is a company hell-bent on unrestrained airport expansion, starting with a third runway at Heathrow which would almost double the number of flights from one of the world’s biggest airports.

“Biofuels can often cause more damage to the environment than fossil fuels, and Virgin is using this flight to divert attention from an irresponsible, business- as-usual attitude to climate change.”

Experts say that first generation biofuels – those based on existing food crops – have been discredited as a solution to transport emissions and could seriously damage the climate.
Dr Parr says the scientific evidence is now clear  – using the finite amount of land we have to grow biofuels is bad for the world’s poor, bad for biodiversity and bad for the climate.

The Greenpeace protest will come as a blow to Virgin which likes to think of itself as an environmental leader.  It has introduced a range of green policies across its operations and has committed to spending $3 billion on renewable energy over the next decade.

Susan

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