“Subsidising biofuels is just about the dumbest way to go.” –– Todd Litman, director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute — Subsidies for 2007 est $13-$15 billion
…increasing biofuel production is a “total disaster” for starving people — Jean Ziegler, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
By Stephen Leahy
Oct 20 2007 (IPS)
A raft of new studies reveal European and American multibillion dollar support for biofuels is unsustainable, environmentally destructive and much more about subsidising agri-business corporations than combating global warming.
Not only do most forms of biofuel production do little to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, growing biofuel crops uses up precious water resources, increasing the size and extent of dead zones in the oceans, boosting use of toxic pesticides and deforestation in tropical countries, such studies say.
And biofuel, powered by billions of dollars in government subsidies, will drive food prices 20-40 percent higher between now and 2020, predicts the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute.
“Fuel made from food is a dumb idea to put it succinctly,” says Ronald Steenblik, research director at the International Institute for Sustainable Development’s Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) in Geneva, Switzerland.
Biofuel production in the U.S. and Europe is just another way of subsidising big agri-business corporations, Steenblik told IPS.
“It’s (biofuel) also a distraction from dealing with the real problem of reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” he asserts. Continue reading