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EU is fuelling hunger with biofuels: Report


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The European Union's ambitious target for biofuel consumption might be the answer to energy security, climate change and rural development, but if a new study is to be believed, it has much worse and unlikely effect on poor countries. It says that the EU's industrial biofuels made from agricultural crops is fuelling hunger in such countries.

The 53-page detailed report compiled by British charity Action Aid in several developing countries including Mozambique and Tanzania last year warns against the EU target of deriving 10 per cent of its energy needs from renewable sources.

The report christened 'the impact of industrial biofuels on people and global hunger: Meals per gallon,' said the EU's ambitious biofuel consumption target is threatening rural survival in poor countries.

The British charity warns that biofuels have in fact become a major cause of the food shortage and hunger crisis is likely to get worse. Industrial biofuels are currently made from maize, wheat, sugar cane and oil seeds such as palm oil, soy and rapeseed.

The rapidly rising demand for crops for fuel has put them into competition with those grown for food, driving food prices higher and affecting what and how much people eat in developing countries," ActionAid noted.

The ActionAid report also warns that biofuels will be making climate change and hunger worse because crops being cultivated do not have lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels.

"This is because: converting forests, peatlands or permanent grasslands to grow biofuel crops is an important cause of GHGs (direct land use change); converting existing food crop land to biofuel crops often has a displacement effect," said ActionAid report.

Source: Allafrica

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