Friday, June 29, 2012

"Face the truth: Europe’s biofuels bonanza causes hunger in Africa"
" So I call on all folk above the age of 15 to borrow or buy Destruction Massive by Jean Ziegler before the end of July. Those who cannot understand French are urged to check out the book as soon as it is published in English (with the title Betting on Famine) this coming autumn.
Ziegler, a former UN special rapporteur on the right to food, mixes personal observations with sharp analysis to illustrate how global hunger is not an accident of nature but the consequence of deliberate policy choices made by an unaccountable elite. He opens with a heartbreaking account of how nurses in Niger have to turn away starving children due to a lack of resources."

Federal biofuels panel packed with 'green' subsidy winners

"Members of a federal interagency biofuel advisory committee have seen millions in taxpayer dollars funneled to their companies in grants and contracts since being appointed to the panel, an investigation by the Heritage Foundation has revealed."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Biofuelling the Global Food Crisis

"This new report commissioned by ActionAid shows that biofuel
targets set by the EU will lead directly to an increase in the prices
of key agricultural commodities worldwide by 2020. And – while
consumers around the world will see some increases in their foodrelated
expenditure – it will be people living in developing countries
who will suffer the most."

ActionAid report highlights absurdity of G20 stance on biofuels and global food prices

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 01:00 GMT
Source: member // ActionAid

Fatou Drammeh, The Gambia
Europe's demand for biofuels could drive up food crop prices by as much as 36% by 2020, helping to push millions more into hunger, a new report from ActionAid reveals.
But despite this and other widespread evidence that biofuels are a major contributor to global hunger, the G20 will yet again avoid the issue when it meets in Mexico next week.

Biofuelling the Global Food Crisis shows that prices of key agricultural commodities such as corn, wheat and vegetable oils will escalate sharply in response to EU biofuel policies, hitting the world's poorest the hardest.
By consigning biofuels to history, leaders at next week's G20 summit could take a giant leap towards stopping the world's poorest from going hungry.

Clare Coffey, policy advisor at ActionAid UK says: "Biofuels will be the elephant in the room at the G20 summit as no-one there is prepared to speak out on the subject.
"Yet by getting rid of biofuel mandates David Cameron and other world leaders could at the stroke of a pen, tackle a key factor behind world food price rises and volatility.

"The powerful biofuels lobby has persuaded world leaders to ignore the scientific facts and not to rock the boat, but all the evidence is making world leaders look increasingly irrational for refusing to address the issue",
Coffey continued.

EU biofuels use is expected to reach the equivalent of nearly 30 million tonnes of oil by the end of this decade, driven by a mandatory target for 10% of renewable energy in transport fuels by 2020.
If that happens, the impact on food price rises will mean millions more people facing terrible choices - either cut back on nutritional intake or stop paying for basic social services such as education or health.

As a growing body of evidence emerges about the detrimental effects biofuels mandates are having on agricultural commodity prices and food security in developing countries, it is the perfect opportunity for the G20 to commit to decisive action that serves the global interest.
Instead, G20 leaders are divided over the issue, with the EU, US, Brazil and others resisting any attempts to weaken their biofuels industries, while the rest of the world pays dearly for price rises and volatility that biofuels are helping to induce.

Coffey continued: "The G20 must acknowledge the significant role of biofuels in worsening global food security. A billion people around the world are already malnourished. EU and other countries are sleep-walking their way to a global food security disaster."

EU ignoring impact of biofuels on food security

"Biofuels are pushing up food prices and driving up to 60 per cent of the large-scale land deals taking place across the world."

"Last year, some 10 international bodies - including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation - found the evidence of the link between biofuels policies and increasingly volatile food prices to be so compelling that they recommended that G20 governments abolish all biofuels mandates and subsidies."

"Biofuels mandates drive land deals which deprive communities of vital land and water. The rush to meet targets for minimum biofuels content in petrol and diesel, within a relatively short timeframe, is a significant driver of the global land rush."

"G20 Called on to Tackle Critical Issues" Voice of America

"The NGOs said a G20-commissioned report recommended eliminating biofuel incentives in order to reduce food price volatility."

EU biofuels aid inflates food cost

"The G20 must acknowledge the significant role of biofuels in worsening global food security. A billion people around the world are already malnourished. EU and other countries are sleep-walking their way to a global food security disaster."

Read more:

Monday, June 18, 2012

"Rio+20: Exploring the livelihood and environmental impacts of biofuels in the tropics" Forest News

"BOGOR, Indonesia (6 June, 2012)_The economic and climate mitigation promises of biofuel expansion into tropical forests and woodlands are often elusive; in some cases land users struggle to reconstruct their livelihoods following displacement, while in others land use change may lead to the release of large amounts of carbon emissions that are difficult to reverse, says a set of CIFOR papers on biofuel impacts in a special issue of Ecology and Society"

"Foreign farms in Africa bring investment and controversy" The Economic Times

"Foreign farms are spreading across Africa to grow food and biofuels for global markets, bringing much-needed investments but also new troubles for a continent struggling to feed itself. "

"Many of the deals are with private companies, from Asian states seeking to feed large, growing populations to Europeans looking to produce biofuels, and their arrival on the continent has sometimes provoked angry backlashes."

"Last year two people died in protests in Senegal over a 20,000-hectare (50,000-acre) biofuel scheme. The government in Dakar put the scheme on ice. "

"Maryland biofuel fraud case rattles industry" Baltimore Sun

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ethanol's Long Bloom Stalls--Wall Street Journal

"Meanwhile, the ethanol industry's once powerful political support has weakened amid high corn prices and efforts to cut federal spending and regulation. Congress last year eliminated about $6 billion in annual subsidies, and critics are pushing for cuts in the 15 billion-gallon-a-year mandate."

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Environmental Benefit of Biofuels Is Overestimated, New Study Reveals

"Two scientists are challenging the currently accepted norms of biofuel production. A recent commentary published in GCB Bioenergy reveals that calculations of greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions from bioenergy production are neglecting crucial information that has led to the overestimation of the benefits of biofuels compared to fossil fuels."