European demand for biofuels could drive up food prices by as much as 36 per cent by 2020, a new report from poverty-fighting charity ActionAid suggests.
A renewed call from the charity to remove targets for the use of biofuel by wealthy countries comes as the G20 prepare to meet in Los Cabos, Mexico next week. Leaders at the summit are expected to avoid discussing the issue.
“Biofuels will be the elephant in the room at the G20 summit as no-one there is prepared to speak out on the subject,” Clare Coffey, policy advisor at ActionAid UK said.
According to the new research, by 2020 EU biodiesel use could push oil seed prices up by as much as 20 per cent and vegetable oils up by as much as 36 per cent. Meanwhile, EU ethanol use could, according to some models, lift wheat prices by as much as 13 per cent, maize (corn) prices by as much as 22 per cent and sugar by as much as 21 per cent, compounding the effects of separate US corn ethanol and Brazilian sugar ethanol programmes.
European biofuel use is expected to reach the equivalent of nearly 30 million tonnes of oil by 2020, driven by a mandatory target for 10 per cent of renewable energy in transport by 2020.
Research published within the new ‘Biofuelling the Global Food Crisis’ suggests that while biofuels are already a ‘major contributor to world hunger’, the problem will get worse over the coming years.
Coffey continued: “The G20 must acknowledge the significant role of biofuels in worsening global food security. A billion people around the world are already malnourished. EU and other countries are sleep-walking their way to a global food security disaster.”
Faye has been writing about cars and environmental issues since 2007. A suspected eco-warrior working on the corporate inside, Faye mainly likes the weird, quirky vehicles that show a distinct environmental advantage. Her ideal car has enough room to fit a bale of hay in the boot. When not working, she likes nothing better than to head out on her bicycle and explore the countryside.
June 15, 2012
Filed under: Biofuels
No comments yet.