Presentation on theme: "Source: Unilever. What’s wrong with agrofuels? Diverts attention and resources from real solutions Car efficiency proposals already weakened Perceived."— Presentation transcript:
What’s wrong with agrofuels? Diverts attention and resources from real solutions Car efficiency proposals already weakened Perceived by public as green transport solution Heavily subsidised - estimated at €3.7 billion Continues to exploit Southern Countries EU already importing 3.8 m tonnes palm oil for food 40 million tonnes soy products as cheap animal feed Plans for 10 million hectares for new palm plantations
What’s wrong with industrial agrofuels? Their energy balance is very low and negative for corn ethanol May increase greenhouse gas emissions Most direct GHG savings are minimal Leads directly or indirectly to deforestation or damage to other carbon sinks Impacts of fertilisers underestimated? Threatens biodiversity Expansion of monocultures in SE Asia and Latin America leading to deforestation, etc Set-aside in EU? More intensive agriculture
What’s wrong with agrofuels? Increase in poverty and hunger Food versus Fuel Harmful to farmers who do not own land as well as rural and urban poor - UN World grain stocks lowest for 30 years Human rights and social problems New monocultures often linked to land expulsions of local communities and indigenous peoples Poor working conditions eg sugar cane
Agrofuels and hunger forecast demand for biofuels will push corn prices 26.3% higher by 2020 (International Food Policy and Research Institute) Poor people spend in the region of 60-80% of their income on food Ca 25% increase untenable European Commission predicts 3-6% increase in world cereal prices due to the EU’s 10% target = 50-100 million extra people being hungry in 2020.
The Farmers perspective Local agrofuels from oilseeds directly pressed on the farm and used on the farm or neighbours are a positive contribution to reduce oil consumption in agriculture, to increase farm´s autonomy. And the by- products are a good animal feed for the farm. Industrial agrofuels are not efficient on economical level and they are only produced with large subsidies Industrial agrofuels will lead to intensification of agriculture, will accelerates the concentration of agriculture on bigger farms
The Farmers perspective Farmers need fair and stable prices from market regulation and not from competition for land use with industrial agrofuels Industrial agrofuels lead to land price increase they produce animal feed, what is good for the EU, but because of land competition they raised the grain prices too rapidly on a very unstable way, leading to economical crisis for animal,milk,egg production (prices for these products doesn´t follow)
Growing evidence EU’s Joint Research Council Money better spent elsewhere - costs outweigh the benefits Will lead to more imports of commodities Employment effects neutral Cannot say the 10% will reduce GHG’s Better uses of biomass
Growing evidence European Environment Agency (this week) Other uses of biomass better economically and environmentally Biomass finite resource - efficiency in cars and housing missing 10% increases not possible within EU, pressure on soil, water and biodiversity Will need large amount of imports, sustainable production outside Europe difficult to achieve and monitor Suspend 10% target - “the overambitious 10% biofuel target is an experiment, whose unintended effects are difficult to predict and difficult to control.”
Global warnings - IMF “Rising biofuel production in the United States and European Union has boosted demand for corn, rapeseed oil, and other grains and edible oils. Although biofuels still account for only 1.5 per cent of the global liquid fuels supply, they accounted for almost half the increase in consumption of major food crops in 2006-07, mostly because of corn-based ethanol produced in the United States. Biofuel demand has propelled the price of corn, but also other grains, meat, poultry, and dairy through cost-push and crop demand and substitution effects.” IMF World Economic Outlook, April 2008
Global warnings - World Bank Increased bio-fuel production has contributed to the rise in food prices…Concerns…have prompted governments to increase bio-fuel production and use leading to greater demand for raw materials including: wheat, soy, maize and palm oil. Food price hikes are also linked to higher energy and fertilizer prices, a weak dollar and export bans. (Rising Food Prices Threaten Poverty Reduction, Press release April 9, 2008)
EU Policy Renewables Package -10% mandatory target by 2020 Fuel Quality Directive could also create demand Heavily subsidised All hope on second generation and certification 2nd generation not yet commercially available No one looking at the social or environmental aspects Economically feasible? OECD doubts it.
Renewable Energy Directive 10% mandatory target No indirect land use changes Article 95 and not 175 (member states can’t introduce stronger laws) Greenhouse gas emission savings only 35% Deforestation allowed up to January 2008
Fuel Quality Directive Currently in negotiations between Council and Parliament. Possible 1st reading? Calls for 10% reduction in GHG emissions by 2020 in all road transport fuel Sustainability criteria being developed for FQD and RES Parliament Environment Committee supported reasonable criteria Key problem: how will the 10% be met? Oil companies cutting flaring or oil companies using biofuels?
Timeline Renewable Energy Directive Environment Committee vote 14-16 June Trade Committee vote 7 July Fuel Quality Directive 1st trialogue meeting 11 June 2nd trialogue meeting 23 June Plenary vote 7 June