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


Governments must reject Biofuels False Solutions


Governments must reject ‘Biofuels’ and other False Solutions to Climate Change

In reaction to today’s launch of the synthesis report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in Spain, the Global Forest Coalition, a worldwide coalition of NGOs and Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations, called upon governments to reject so-called ‘biofuels’ and other false solutions to climate change like carbon trading. It is now becoming cῬear that these solutions may in fact make climate change worse, not better, and that they have many other serious social and environmental impacts. (1)

The IPCC report again highlights that climate change is already having devastating impacts upon the economies and livelihoods of people all over the world. Indigenous Peoples and other vulnerable and economically marginalized peoples suffer the most dramatic consequences of climate change, as they are directly dependent upon the forests, drylands and polar ecosystems that are being destroyed by droughts, forest fires and other effects of global warming. However, these communities are also the main victims of the false solutions that some governments and high profile advocates are proposing, like large-scale ˜biofuels™, (or ˜agrofuels™ as most social movements refer to them) and carbon investments in forestry projects.

Dr. Miguel Lovera, chairperson of the Global Forest Coalition, said:

“Here in Paraguay the soya boom that has been triggered by agrofuels means that farmers are now racing to clear the forests and plant soy. What is the point of planting a crop that is supposed to help stop climate change, when it involves ripping out the lungs of the world and destroying the homes and livelihoods of our forest peo῰les, including our last communities of Indigenous Peoples living in voluntary isolation? The IPCC recognizes that conserving forests is one of the most effective and economically efficient ways of mitigating climate change but governments don™t seem to be listening: instead of banning deforestation, they are actually subsidizing ῴhe production of these agrofuels crops which are making deforestation worse all over the world.  (2)

In Mato Grosso in the Brazilian Amazon, renewed soy expansion caused deforestation to increase by around 84% between September 2006 and September 2007. Soy expansion in South America is mainly caused by the ethanol boom in the US, which has triggered US soy farmers to switch to corn.

“As the main problems are caused by the indirect impacts of agrofuels, proposals to certify ‘sustainable biofuels’ just won’t work, as they can’t control these indirect impacts” emphasizes Dr. Rachel Smolker of the Global Justice Ecology Project in Vermont (US).

“Second generation agrofuels, like genetically modified trees, will also cause a myriad of environmental and social problems, including the replacement of forests with vast monocultures of tree plantations, planted to fuel cars” she adds.

The Global Forest Coalition also opposes proposals to finance reduced deforestation through the international carbon market, as such offsets do not contribute anything to mitigating climate change: every ton carbon stored in forests will imply an extra ton of carbon emissions in the North. Moreover, they form an inequitable and unpredictable source of financial support. Carbon offset projects in countries like Uganda have already led to devastating impacts on local communities. (3)

“Many Indigenous Peoples in the Pacific face the possibility of losing everything in a short space of time – their homes, their territories and their livelihoods -, because of rising sea-levels. We insist that governments do something now to stop this ethnocide. They urgently need to invest in real forest conservation (4), sustainῡble transport systems and solar and wind energy stresses Sandy Gauntlett, chairperson of the Pacific Indiῧenous Peoples Environment Coalition.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


WMO: Another La Niña Impacts Temperatures And Precipitation – But Not Climate Change
La Niña has developed for the second consecutive year and is expected to last into early 2022, influencing temperatures and precipitation. Despite the cooling influence of this naturally occurring climate phenomenon, temperatures in many parts of the world are expected to be above average because of the accumulated heat trapped in the atmosphere...

UN: Violations Of Palestinian Rights Puts Two-State Solution At Risk, Chief Warns
The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continues to pose a significant challenge to international peace and security, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, said on Monday... More>>

Oxfam: Afghanistan Faces Multiple Crises

ActionStation, Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand, Christian World Service, Oxfam Aotearoa and World Vision New Zealand say that while Afghanistan faces chronic poverty, persistent droughts, war, the Covid-19 pandemic and an economic crisis, winter is about to bring a whole new set of challenges...More>>

World Food Programme: Millions More In Need Of Food Assistance As A Direct Result Of Conflict In Northern Ethiopia

The number of people in need of humanitarian food assistance across northern Ethiopia has grown to an estimated 9.4 million as a direct result of ongoing conflict, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today... More>>

Food: Three Billion People Cannot Afford A Healthy Diet

Approximately three billion people, almost 40 per cent of the world’s population, cannot afford a healthy diet and another one billion people would join their ranks should further unpredictable events reduce incomes by one-third, the UN food agency said, launching a new report on Tuesday... More>>

COP26: Enough Of ‘Treating Nature Like A Toilet’ – Guterres Brings Stark Call For Climate Action To Glasgow
As the World Leaders Summit opened on day two of COP26, UN chief António Guterres sent a stark message to the international community. “We are digging our own graves”, he said, referring to the addiction to fossil fuels which threatens to push humanity and the planet, to the brink, through unsustainable global heating... More>>