Rome has announced that it will start a trial to run 200 of its public buses on a B20 biodiesel blend. The move is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. The plan will look carefully at the carbon emissions of the supply chain as well.

If successful, Rome's entire fleet of 2800 will be moved over to the partially renewable fuel by the end of 2008. The biodiesel feedstock demand will be met by local farmers who plan to massively increase their crop area of rapeseed, soy and sunflowers.

Analysis: Rome has a truly massive amount of historical landmarks that could be damaged by toxic air pollution, so the move to trial biodiesel makes a lot of sense for the ancient city. Air pollution is a major problem for ancient monuments such as the problems being faced by the Taj Mahal.



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