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Biofuels: a threat to food security and landrights


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Topic: Biofuels


Policy recommendations

  • The European Union must  abandon the 10% target for renewable energy incorporation in transport as this leads to land grabbing in developing countries to increase the production of biofuels, to the detriment of poverty eradication and food security
  • The European Union must address land grabbing by expanding the current sustainability criteria to include social standards, by for one recognising land rights
  • These criteria must be legally binding to guarantee that the rural populations who live off marginal lands and forests are not hurt by expanding agricultural production;
  • The European Union must consider the effects of Indirect Land Use Change in the Renewable Energy Directive. The directive must not undermine the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and global food security;
  • The monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the RED must take specific note of the impact of EU biofuels targets on food security and other development issues.


Make It Fair!

The European Parliament revised the current legislation. They ensured that only 7%(instead of 10%) of renewable energy of the transport sector should consist of food-based biofuels. Unfortunately, ILUC-factors are still not sufficiently taken into account. Sustainability criteria in order to fight land grabbing are also not incorporated in the European Parliaments revision of the Renewable Energy Directive. The final text of the new EU biofuels policy will be formally adopted by the Council and the new directive will enter into force in 2017. Fair Politics notes the policy is still not fair, and urges the Parliament to keep pushing for the following recommendations:

  • Phasing out the support for the consumption and production of food based biofuels
  • Expanding the sustainablility criteria to include social criteria, including human rights, food security, access to natural resources such as land and water, and the principle of free, prior and informed consent for communities affected by land transactions for biofuels.
  • Taking into account the ILUC effects in the Renewable Energy Directive. In the Directive, the deduction of Greenhouse Gasses and worldwide food security should not be undermined.