Drawing the line on biofuels
Tuesday 24 April 2012
The French non-governmental organisation Peuples Solidaires and the international NGO ActionAid have urged European authorities to abandon the target of 10% renewable energy in transport by 2020. The EU policy to develop biofuels is pushing up global food prices and forcing populations in certain Southern countries off their land, denounces their report, published on 24 April, which illustrates the problem with the case of Tanzania.
Higher European demand for biofuels is putting increasing pressure on global food prices: by 2020, the price of oilseeds is expected to rise by 33%, maize by 22%, sugar by 21% and wheat by 16%, according to estimates given in the report.
“To meet the targets the European countries have set for biofuel use, millions of hectares of land will have to be snatched up from the populations of Southern countries,” reads their statement.
“The European Union must abandon its targets and put an end to public subsidies for biofuels” in order to “support genuinely sustainable alternatives and family farms and small farms, not energy production that fills European tanks by emptying plates in the South,” argues the report.