World hunger needs a ban - not a cap - on biofuels | ActionAid UK

World hunger needs a ban - not a cap - on biofuels

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News that the EU is planning a limit on the use of food-based biofuels has been welcomed by ActionAid. 

But the anti-poverty agency warns that without a total ban on food and land based fuels, millions will still go hungry because food prices will continue to be affected and land will still be grabbed.

Tim Rice, policy advisor at ActionAid said: “A law to limit biofuels made from food crops is a very encouraging first step, though largely tokenistic since the limit would be set above current food to fuel levels”.

The draft legislation represents a major shift in the European Commission’s thinking around one of its most notorious policies. It is a clear admission that the EU 2020 ‘biofuel’ target is fundamentally flawed. 

ActionAid’s campaign highlighting the damaging consequences of biofuels targets now calls on the EU to bring in legislation that will end them for good and stop all food and land being used to fuel cars.  This would open the door for the UK to drop its own controversial biofuel targets.

Rice continued: “As recent events in the US drought-stricken corn-belt show, a mandate to turn food into fuel can destabilise world food prices and worsen world hunger.  Crop based biofuels should have no part in EU or UK renewable energy policy,”.

If approved by the European Commission and then agreed by the EU Member States and the European Parliament, the legislation would mean that:

  • Rapeseed, palm and soy would no longer count as carbon saving fuels
  • There would be a limit on the amount of food based fuel that EU member states could use to meet the 10% Renewable Energy Directive (RED) target
  • Any national subsidies to food based fuels would end after 2020