EU biofuels target will reduce available food

May 15, 2013

A new blow to the EU’s biofuels policy has come from the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier de Schutter. In a letter to the Commission and member states sent last month, de Schutter says there will not be enough European land available to grow crops if the transport sector is to meet the EU’s target of a 10% share of its fuel with biofuels by 2020.

This, he says, will drive up imports of biofuels crops, which will lead to farmers growing crops for biofuels instead of crops to feed local populations, thereby depriving some people outside Europe of their right to food. De Schutter recommends reducing and one day removing those EU incentives for producing biofuels that threaten the right to food. He says the Commission’s proposal to limit the share of ‘first-generation’ biofuels to 5% is a step in the right direction.

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