Sustainability benefits of non-food crops need testing, say Lords

New mechanisms to co-ordinate Government policy on the development of non-food crops for industrial uses have been recommended by the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology. 1 Substitution of non-food crops for products currently made from fossil hydrocarbons may contribute to sustainability objectives, but the Committee urges that this should be rigorously tested by life-cycle analyses and other methods. The report also expresses significant doubts about the economic viability of energy crops, which many see as vital to expanding the UK's renewables capacity.

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