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Biofuels not responsible for global hunger, industry tells G8 members



The UK’s biofuels supply chain has launched an appeal to David Cameron, urging him to address the real causes of hunger and not to blame the industry.

Lack of infrastructure, education, income and knowledge of agricultural practices should be addressed to improve food availability in poorer countries, according to the biofuel industry.

Industry spokesperson Clare Wenner said, “The European commission estimates that bioethanol production constituted only 3% of total cereal use in 2010/2011.

“Globally, biodiesel accounts for a similar share of the oil crops. Only 2% of global arable land is used for biofuels and the vast majority of EU biofuels feedstock are crops grown in Europe.”

The industry believes that the G8 meeting should represent an opportunity to investigate the real causes of hunger and acknowledge that biofuels are not an issue.

Biofuel production in Europe and the UK is not a simple question of food versus fuel; these markets are closely interlinked”, Wenner said.

There is sufficient flexibility within the current regulatory framework to allow industry to respond to market signals. Crop-based biofuel production is not only an essential part of meeting our renewable transport fuel targets – it also provides valuable high protein feed co-products for the livestock sector, as well as rotational benefits, essential for increasing food production and protecting soil quality.” 

Suppliers also claimed that the biofuels industry has enabled UK farmers to invest over £1 billion and is creating growth and jobs in many disadvantaged regions.

A sustainable biofuels industry plays an important role in narrowing this deficit whilst at the same time acting as an important incentive for research and for the development of better performing plant varieties”, Wenner added.

To mark the UK’s presidency of the G8 summit, the government has promoted two new schemes to encourage social impact investment in poor countries. 

Campaign group Enough Food for Everyone IF has said that the money recovered by tax evasion would be enough to tackle global hunger.

Further reading:

Government lauds UK impact investment as part of solution to African hunger

Tackling tax avoidance could end world hunger, say IF campaigners

Tackle food waste to tackle inequality, government report says

Report seeks to bridge communication gap between farmers and renewables

UK to invest £10m in biofuels as report outlines negative health effects


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