Justice Issues BIOFUELS

“The amount of land required to fill a family car with grain biofuel would provide enough food to feed a child for 200 days.Open lettter to EU Leaders, June 2013

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In theory producing fuel from plant material seems like a good idea and an ecologically sustainable way of producing energy.  However, this has proven not to be the case in Africa. The downside is that land used, or which could petentially be used, to produce food for human consumption is no longer available.  Food crops such as Corn and Sugar Cane are used to produce fuel.  Biofuel crops and their production have caused land-grabs in Africa, displacement of people and environmental damage.  In addition the hope that “second generation” biofuel production using non-food crops has not yet been commercially realised.

For a concise overview of the topic see Justice Briefing “Biofuels” – Written a few years ago it provides clear definitions and the doubts and caveats it contains have proved true. Read more

Read these “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).  Prepared by OXFAM they give a clear explanation of the pros’ and cons’ of biofuel usage. Read more

EU Biofuels policy: Fuelling food insecurity in Africa: In order to reduce dependence on oil the EU has introduced a policy and targets to replace fossil fuel with biofuels.  It has, in addition, made lucrative subsidies available to ecouraage biofuel production so that the targets can be met and the policy implemented  Read more

June 2013,  Open Letter to EU Leaders and signed by 112 European and worldwide civil society organisations expressed concern over the damage and cost of the EU’s biofuel policy.  Read more

 July 2013: Biofuels from food crops to be capped following MEPs’ vote  Read more

Sept 2013: Oxfam reaction: MEP’s biofuel compromise not encough to tackle hunger in poor countries  Read more

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See: An example of Land Grab Intimidation

Biofuels: Fuelling Poverty and Environmental Degradation – Trocaire Briefing