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Patents: taken for granted in plans for a global biofuels market

23 / 11 / 2007, Eldis Biodiversity

Understanding patent policy is crucial for predicting how the biofuels technologies can aid or hinder sustainable development. This article examines the influence that patents will have on the biofuel trade and stakeholders involved. The author anticipates that systemic patent reform is unlikely to occur in time to prevent the damaging environmental consequences of over investment in the sector. Consequences identified include:

an acceleration in climate change due to reckless bio-fuels investment 
further degradation of biodiversity 
dispossession of land and genetic resources from indigenous groups 
reduction in the amount of land allocated to food security crops

To conclude, the author emphasises the importance of promoting tough environmental and social investment performance requirements for biofuels.

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