25 Mar 2008

Biofuels: A threat not an opportunity

Green Party Principal Speaker Dr Derek Wall said: 'Biofuels are a threat rather than an opportunity. Soya beans and palm oil production for fuel is the fastest growing source of rainforest destruction. Monoculture crops displace people, push rare species into extinction and accelerate climate change. The European Union's legislation for compulsory biofuel is nail vigorously hammered into life support systems of Planet Earth. Critics as diverse as the neo-liberal Economist magasine to former Cuban president Fidel Castro have pointed out that biofuels are pushing up food prices and making the poorest go hungry. Please email your MP to suspend the Biofuels target'

> Subject: Please email your MP to suspend Biofuels targets
> Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2008 15:46:42 +0000
>
> Dear friends,
>
> There is emerging concern that more and more grain and vegetable oil which
> should be used for food is being turned into biofuels for transport. This
> means cereals - corn, wheat, bread and pasta - and vegetable oil are
> becoming more expensive. It also makes meat and dairy more expensive,
> because grain is now turned into ethanol(biofuel), instead of feeding
> animals. High food prices are causing hardship in industrialised countries.
> In poorer countries, high food prices mean more people going hungry or
> starving.
>
> Biofuelwatch has an email alert to MPs asking them to support calls for the
> UK Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) and EU legislation promoting
> biofuels to be suspended due to this emerging global food crisis.
>
> Please click here to go to the webpage to send your MP an email:
> http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/mp-Mar2008.php
>
> The UK government's new chief scientific adviser, Professor John Beddington
> recently warned in a speech on March 6th:
> "It is very hard to imagine how we can see a world growing enough crops to
> produce renewable energy and at the same time meet the enormous increase in
> the demand for food which is quite properly going to happen as we alleviate
> poverty."
>
> This is a real crisis happening now - Josette Sheeran, the head of the UN's
> World Food Programme (WFP) that warned that due to rising food prices WPF is
> short of $0.5billion just to meet existing food aid deliveries. High prices
> are forcing more people into needing food aid too - for example, in
> Afghanistan, 2.55 million more people need food aid because they can no
> longer afford wheat. This week, Egypt's president has had to order the army
> to increase the production and distribution of bread, in an attempt to cope
> with serious shortages -
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7300899.stm
> and called on the EU to end biofuel subsidies:
> http://www.checkbiotech.org/green_News_Biofuels.aspx?Name=biofuels&infoId=17
> 306
>
> For more explanation of this crisis, please see:
> http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/foodcrisis.php
>
> The Environmental Audit Committee recently called for a moratorium on the
> RTFO on sustainability grounds. Now there are grounds on the basis of the
> most important of human resources - food. PLEASE HELP US in urging MPs in
> the UK Parliament to suspend the RTFO. If this is introduced on April 15th
> 2008, then the poor and hungry will suffer.
>
> Please click here to go to the webpage to send your MP an email:
> http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/mp-Mar2008.php
>
> Please forward on to your networks
>
> Andrew Boswell, biofuelwatch

2 comments:

a very public sociologist said...

This does need more publicity, and it's to your credit you've consistently raised this issue. Most of the local buses, run by First, proudly display their usage of biofuels on every bus I travel on. Unfortunately mainstream politicians don't give a monkey's at the moment.

Paul said...

I agree Derek and it is not often that happens. However I do honestly feel we must develop biofuels. I consider the second and third generation of them to have huge potential. The first generation as in this instance if badly managed are a menace.