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NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Agro/Biofuels - more than a red herring - a climate disaster in.

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Presentation on theme: "NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Agro/Biofuels - more than a red herring - a climate disaster in."— Presentation transcript:

1 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Agro/Biofuels - more than a red herring - a climate disaster in the making Biofuelwatch introduced by Dr Andrew Boswell, biofuelwatch and UK Green Party councillor on Norfolk County Councl

2 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Summary Climate Change background - urgency to avoid catastropic climate change The “Green Fuel” hype and drivers Agrofuels are accelerating climate change Descending the transport emissions curve - Demand reduction is key

3 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Emission sources Deforestation, agriculture and peat Anthropogenic energy From Stern Report

4 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making How much warming / ghgs is safe? None! Present ‘Radiative forcings’ already over safe levels Total Greenhouse Gases – 460 ppm CO2e (CO ppm) Total positive radiative forcing from humans – 560ppm CO2e 2˚C warming is maximum to avoid runaway climate change – most scientists think ppm C02e equivalents is limit Jim Hansen (NASA) says 1.8˚C max. -Siberian Tundra close to melting -C02 already emitted but not forced=0.6˚C We are experiencing effects from 30 years ago

5 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Rest of World India China Annex 1 (non-OECD) OECD minus USA USA Contraction and Convergence Business as Usual (BAU) = Expansion and Divergence Emissions are contracting Converging to per capita level Continue to contract to post carbon era 2000

6 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Runaway Climate Change Speed up of Arctic Ice Melt Siberian Tundra melt (Methane) Deep Ocean Methane Hydrates Melting of Greenland Ice Sheet Melting / break up of West Antartica Ice Sheet Switching off of Gulf Stream Loss of Ocean/Biosphere Carbon sinks

7 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Rest of World India China Annex 1 (non-OECD) OECD minus USA USA The issue is not can we stop climate change BUT can we stop catastopic runaway climate change?

8 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Deep cuts needed – EU, US, China etc UK emissions ---- Government target ____ Friends of the Earth Big Ask 3% annually ____ George Monbiot near linear >4% (90% by 2030) ____ George Monbiot 7% front-loaded (90% by 2030) ____ George Monbiot 10% front-loaded (90% by 2030) Govt. target : 60% reduction 2010 Govt. target : 20% reduction The GAP which must be closed

9 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making The Green fuel hype Can agrofuels in road transport AND now rail and aviation make a significant impact to GHG levels? Exponential Growth

10 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making US / EU Policy – going off the graph EU – 10% by 2020 (1% now) US – 20% by 2020 (4% now)

11 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Mega-scale Agrofuel drivers Government and corporate subsidy and promotion Fits “Business as usual” policies and paradigms –Year-on-year economic growth –Avoid unpopular “demand reduction” politics Short term “energy security” fix –Less pressure on Oil hotspots – Mid-East/Iraq –Stabilising Oil price? –EU / US “Oil independence” New global mega-industry and infrastructure –agribusiness, biotech, and chemical sectors –refining, tankage and shipping sectors –commodity markets (eg Palm Oil, sugar, corn)

12 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Do Agrofuels save emissions? Agrofuel infrastructure is built on Fossil Fuel infrastructure –Intensive agriculture – fossil fuel based – fertilisers, farm equipment, Nitrous oxide emissions (300* CO2), soil carbon emissions –Feedstock transport, shipping, ports –Refining (coal, gas fired plants!) ; process chemicals

13 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Incomplete agrofuel life-cycle studies Ignores –Land-use change –Soil erosion –N2O emissions – chemical fertilizer impact greater in tropics Micro studies – don’t scale up –Fuel stock transport miles –Economic/market effects – rape seed oil in EU is blended with Palm Oil

14 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Poor savings even in isolation Corn Ethanol – 13% savings – Berkeley 2006 study –Patzek – actually 50%-100% more CO2 for ethanol than for fossil fuels The Red herring or the vegetarian car?! –Consumers conned about making significant carbon ‘savings’

15 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Massive land-use change in global South, and crop commodity traffic Massive emission exports from industralised nations to global South

16 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Emission trickery Exporting emissions from Northern transport to Southern agriculture and landuse NB: Soil + Peat not included

17 Agrofuels are accelerating climate change Deforestation for oil palms, Colombia Fires to clear land for palm oil, Kalimantan Photo by Nordin, Save our Borneo

18 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Peat drainage and destruction Drainage Dry peat - oxidises and, over time, emits all its carbon as CO billion tonnes of carbon stored in those SE Asian peatlands. Fires Many set by plantation companies, greatly accelerate the loss of carbon. Of the 27.1 million hectares of peatland in South-east Asia, 12 million hectares are deforested and mostly drained.

19 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Agrofuels as a new driver of peatland destruction Indonesia plans 20 million hectares new oil palm plantations to meet biodiesel demand. $17.4 billion investment deals in Indonesian palm oil agreed this year. According to 2006 FAO report, growth in European rapeseed oil biodiesel has significantly pushed up global palm oil prices.

20 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Peat Destruction 2

21 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making

22 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Deforestation “with partial deforestation the entire landscape could become drier and a domino effect could occur producing a ‘tipping point’ affecting the whole forest”. Conclusion of recent scientific conference Amazon drying out – die-back threat increasing billion tonnes of carbon dioxide

23 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Amazon Deforestation and Drought Deforestation in Novo Progreso, Brazil ; Alberto Cesar/Greenpeace/AP Amazon drought 2005, Lake Rei

24 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making

25 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Bio-agrofuels are nonsense at the system level THE DILUTION FACTOR - 1% biofuels today –Assume 10% C emissions savings litre for litre –Total saving = 0.1% saving globally Most optimistic 2020 : 5% BFs – 0.5% savings Same savings can be made by: –Each driver driving 0.5% less (ie 50 miles for UK driver) –OR Each driver goes 2 mph slower –OR Tyres inflated properly 20% - 50% DEMAND REDUCTION transport sector savings could be achieved in years –Sustainable transport, modal shift, social planning - work- home relocation etc

26 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Descending the transport emissions curve - Demand reduction is key Reduce vehicle emissions by 50% - smaller, more efficient vehicles Reduce journeys – planning, modal shift, decouple transport from economy Reduce liquid fuel – plug-in hybrids Change Supply - Concentrating Solar Power ? Current EU energy policy 90% carbon emission reduction needed URGENTLY!

27 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making The Climate Context 1 st generation biofuels –Very little climate benefit –Often a climate disaster Eg Indonesian peat lands Deforestation tropics Yet mass-scale infrastructure and investment ready for 2 nd generation biofuels –15-20 years to develop –BUT emissions must be cut now –Biohazards (even now in R&D) –Deforestation boreal and temporate Transport sector DEMAND REDUCTION

28 NGO roundtable meeting 25 th July 2007 Agro/Biofuels – a Climate Disaster in the Making Networking What factsheets, lobbying support would be useful for your organisation? Show solidarity with communities in the global South, please sign the call for an immediate moratorium on EU incentives for agrofuels, EU imports of agrofuels and EU agroenergy monocultures. Sign up to the biofuelwatch yahoo group - send a blank to ALERTS and RESOURCES eg: –Supporting Paraguayan communities –write to Tesco –Uganda’s Mabira rainforest - sugar cane plantations us at if you would like to get more involved in the campaign.


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