The Government has today answered one of the key questions over biofuels by launching a new consultation into measuring the benefits of the renewable fuel.

Speaking at the opening of the consultation transport secretary Douglas Alexander said: “Biofuels present an opportunity to address the climate change impact of transport. But we must ensure appropriate safeguards are in place.

“The UK is leading international debate on this issue. We are one of the first countries to develop a detailed methodology to allow transport fuel suppliers to report in detail on the carbon and sustainability impacts of their biofuels. And the comprehensive package of new measures we are proposing today only strengthens this global leadership role, by making clear our determination to put in place a mandatory sustainability framework for biofuels, putting us at the forefront globally of tackling this important issue.”

The Department for Transport consultation aims to cover monthly and annual biofuel reports, verification requirements and the default values to be used to calculate the carbon savings offered by different biofuels.

The consultation is a part of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation, which has the aim that by 2010, 5% of all the fuel sold on UK forecourts should come from biofuels. This is expected to save 1 million tones of carbon a year, the equivalent of taking 1 million cars off the road.

The closing date for the consultation is 13 September 2007.