In the European energy ministers meeting held in Brussels last week, European drivers were given the green light to burn large quantities of food crops in their fuel tanks until 2030.
Transport & Environment (T&E), and anti-poverty organisation Oxfam opposed this policy. They highlighted that only the biofuel industry would benefit from this policy, whilst the overall outcome would result in contributions to hunger and environmental damage.
T&E’s clean fuels manager, Laura Buffet, argued that the “EU governments have not learned from past mistakes on biofuels. Ignoring all the scientific evidence that shows most crop biofuels in Europe increase emissions and drive deforestation, EU energy ministers have decided to keep promoting these harmful biofuels for another decade.”
Therefore, T&E “urge Members of the European Parliament to reject any new crop biofuels target in transport and phase out support for food-based biofuels in 2030. EU policy should focus on supporting truly sustainable alternatives for transport such as renewable electricity and sustainable advanced waste-based fuels,” says Buffet.
Oxfam’s EU economic justice policy lead, Marc-Olivier Herman, also spoke up noting that the “European governments are giving free rein to a policy that only benefits biofuel corporations and that rides roughshod over people’s human rights and livelihoods. Despite burning food for fuel meaning taking it from the poorest and most vulnerable to food price shocks, the EU seems set on driving ahead with their destructive policy.”
He stresses that the “European Parliament should lead the way when it votes on this policy in January by speaking out against binding biofuels targets for transport and against food-based biofuels so that people no longer see their livelihoods and land being burned up for fuel.”