Feed people, not petrol tanks

23 February 2015

Feed people, not petrol tanks

On Tuesday 24th February a vote will be taken in the European Parliament Environment Committee on the EU’s rules governing biofuels. Tighter regulation is badly needed, because biofuels are a great deal less sustainable than is commonly thought. For their production you need agricultural land, which is necessary to provide sufficient food to feed us all. This explains why the SP voted in favour of tightening the rules.

Biofuels are made for the most part through the fermentation of farm products such as palm oil and maize, and growing of course requires farmland. ‘The consequence of this policy is that this farmland, both inside Europe and beyond, is no longer being used to produce food. In addition, it leads to deforestation,. Which is no good when it comes to resisting climate change,’ says SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur.

For these reasons Mineur is urging the revision of the rules governing biofuels in order that account can be taken of the malign results of their cultivation. ‘It is of course a very good thing that we are looking for alternatives to fossil fuels,’ says Mineur, ‘but if these turn out to be damaging to the environment as well, and if they put food security under pressure, then we will have to look elsewhere.’

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