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Edited by Jon C. Lovett and David G. Ockwell
Chapter 13: Biodiesel as the Potential Alternative Vehicle Fuel: European Policy and Global Environmental Concern
Mahesh Poudyal and Jon C. Lovett Introduction The widely accepted principles of sustainable development are that the present generation should be able to meet its own needs without compromising the needs of future generations. Essentially this implies that we can continue to have economic growth, but the means by which we achieve this should not do so much damage that our children look back in anguish and question our actions. In the last two centuries economic growth has been powered by burning fossil fuels with the consequent release of carbon dioxide. In recent years this release has been increasing rapidly: between 1961 and 2002 humanity’s carbon footprint grew more than 700 per cent (Kitzes et al., 2007). In the last few decades there has been widespread concern that observed increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperatures are causally linked. Confidence in the general scientific consensus has reached the point where policy-makers are willing to take firm action, for example the 10th Session of Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Paris (February 2007) concluded that: Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations. . . . Discernible human influences now extend to other aspects of climate, including ocean warming, continental-average temperatures, temperature extremes and wind patterns. (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007, emphasis original) Policy instruments for tackling greenhouse gas (GHG) induced warming have been in place for some...
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