Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Biofuels, The Greedy Green Gold Rush

The green gold rush to develop biofuels has played a "significant" part in the dramatic rise in global food prices, which has left millions without enough to eat, according to an Oxfam report today. But the government isn't listening nor will it heed a government report due out later this week. 

Our cars are being driven by greed and the big business of biofuels is forcing millions of people into poverty.

Around the world, forests are being destroyed, cattle driven off the land and crops once grown for food now grown for corn, rapeseed, palm and soya.

Here you get huge grants and subsidies to produce the stuff. The fields of corn and rapeseed are being grown for biofuels. Everyone's a winner except the environment and the people.

The Gallagher report, from a panel of government experts, at the Renewable Fuels Agency, should force a review of British and EU targets for the use of biofuels in place of petrol and diesel  but it won't.

Ethanol and biodiesel derived from vegetable oil were a central plank of Brown's 'green' strategy. And the biofuel plan is well in place. 

Since April, all petrol and diesel in the UK has had to contain 2.5% of biofuels, with a 2010 target of 5%. Oxfam is calling for this target to be scrapped. 

The US, Brazil and the EU are the main players on the biofuel stage. The EU is contemplating a 10% target by 2020. About half of EU vegetable oils now go towards the production of biodiesel and plant-derived ethanol.

What will our government do? They will 'note' the report, come out with some meaningless NewLabourSpeak, maybe call for another review, but do nothing about it.

It's green gold and it leaves a bitter aftertaste.

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