World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Gallagher Report: Biofuels Drive People To Hunger

The Gallagher report: biofuels are driving people into hunger

As the British government announces Professor Ed Gallagher's review of biofuels, ActionAid raises concerns over both first generation biofuels made from food crops such as corn or sugarcane and second generation biofuels, made from non-food crops such as jatropha, a toxic hedging shrub.

ActionAid says that while most types of biofuels will not help to reduce climate change, they will make life harder for millions of poor people around the world.

Dr Claire Melamed, ActionAid head of policy said: 'The voracious demand for biofuels is largely a consequence of the targets and subsidies that the rich world has established to ensure its own energy security.

"Grain and vegetable oil are being diverted to biofuels, leading to scarcity and rocketing food prices. In the developing world, land on which farmers and pastoralists depend is being converted into biofuel monocultures.

"Rural communities are losing their land and risk being driven into destitution and starvation."

Biofuel subsidies to US and EU farmers are worth between US$16 and US$18bn a year, four times a much as all agricultural aid to the developing world. The charity calculates that 260 million people are at risk of hunger as a direct result of the rich world's drive to grow alternative fuels for cars and trucks

Dr Melamed concluded: "The world needs to start again and plan properly. If biofuels are to play a part in a renewable energy strategy they must be seen to benefit the environment and not be of harm to poor farmers and consumers in the developing world."

ActionAid is calling for an immediate moratorium on biofuel developments on arable land and for Europe and the US to remove the subsidies and targets that are driving the production of biofuels from food crops.

What biofuels have meant to a village in Ghana

Villagers in northern Ghana are discovering the true cost of biofuel production. This vulnerable community was hit hard in 2007 when severe drought during the growing season, followed by torrential rain, resulted in a negligible harvest and a lack of seed stock. They have since survived by selling their animals and making charcoal from wood the women collect.

But as they were planning to prepare their fields for the coming year, they discovered the biggest blow of all - machinery moving onto their land to plough vast areas for a plantation of jatropha, which will be used for biofuels. The biofuels company argues that the land is 'marginal' and 'exhausted'. The farmers insist otherwise - saying they depend on this land for their food and livelihoods.

The company, which was allegedly granted the land by a paramount chief, claims that food crops will be intercropped with jatropha. They promise that the plantation will provide jobs, a school and clinic. The community says that they have received nothing, and that there is hunger in their village

ENDS

Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives | RSS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: