• Abengoa’s misuse of our name is reprehensible

    T&E has responded robustly to an attempt by Abengoa Bioenergy, a multinational producer of bioethanol, to misuse its name and research in a series of lobbying advertisements published last week in major global publications including the Financial Times and The Economist.

    [mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]Abengoa’s high-profile advertising campaign, at an estimated cost of several hundred thousand Euros, is targeted to coincide with upcoming votes in the European Parliament on new EU targets for the use of biofuels.

    The full-page advertisements stated that “Bioethanol is currently the only real alternative for eliminating our addiction to oil”, citing the T&E report “Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transport in the EU25 (2004)” as one of two sources to justify that claim.

    In a letter published in today’s editions of the Financial Times and the European Voice, T&E’s Director, Jos Dings said:

    “It is impossible for a reader of our report to reach the conclusion Abengoa draws. It does not even mention biofuels or bioethanol. If the company is genuinely interested in “supported evidence”, as it claims, it must know that T&E’s view on biofuels bears no resemblance to its own. T&E has consistently warned against volume targets for biofuels at European Union level since at least 2004, when we published our report “Sense and Sustainability”. We believe Europe should set an environmental target to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the production of all transport fuels, not a biofuels quantity target that gives a boost to the fuels Abengoa produces regardless of their environmental performance.”

    “Running Europe’s fleet of heavy, gas-guzzling cars on biofuels rather than petrol is no cure. If Europe truly wants to end its addiction to oil, it should start by making cars twice as fuel-efficient as they are today.”

    “Abengoa has misused our name and research in an advertisement claiming to separate “manipulation” from “evidence”. That is reprehensible. As an environmental group, our main capital is our reputation and credibility, which we will defend.”

    The Abengoa advertisement published in the Financial Times on 18 June.

    The T&E report referenced in the advertisement.

    T&E’s 2004 report, Sense and Sustainability, warned against volume targets for biofuels.

    T&E’s most recent position papers, reports and briefings on Low Carbon Fuels.