Australia Prime Minister John Howard has commissioned a taskforce to examine the latest scientific evidence on the impacts of ethanol and other biofuel use on human health, environmental outcomes and automotive operations.
On this basis, and taking into account the most recent economic analyses of fuel supply in Australia, the Taskforce will assess the costs and benefits of biofuel production. This is a possible precursor to new Australian legislation on mandated biofuel use.
The Taskforce will examine:
The findings of a December 2003 CSIRO/ABARE/BTRE desktop study into the appropriateness of a 350-million liter biofuels target;
The findings of the DEH study into the impacts of E10 and E20 on automotive operation;
Other international and Australian scientific research on the health and environmental impacts of supplementing fossil fuels with oxygenates such as ethanol and other biofuel blends;
The economic and scientific bases upon which decisions have been made to support ethanol and other biofuel production in North America, Europe and other countries.
The Taskforce will report back to the Government by the end of July 2005.
Some Members of Parliament are already proposing a mandated target of 4% ethanol by 2009; 7% in 2012; and 10% in 2015.