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Mandatory targets for biofuels have led to their rapid global adoption, but ethical problems with their large-scale production are widely reported. Research is underway to find new biofuel technologies that mitigate climate change and can be produced sustainably and economically. Following an 18-month inquiry, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics has developed an ethical framework for biofuels policy-making. Based on a number of widely held ethical values, six ethical principles are introduced that should be considered in biofuels policy-making. Many current biofuels policies fail this ethical ‘test’. An overarching ethical standard for biofuels is proposed that includes the protection of human rights and the environment,...