Today and in the coming weeks, negotiations on the reform of the EU biofuel targets of the EU Parliament and Commission will be carried on in Brussels. Welthungerhilfe is appealing to the EU delegates concerned to sustainably limit the use of biofuels. It is essential to now set a cap on the biofuel quotas at 5 %. The consequences of the indirect land use change also need to be considered when calculating the climate balance. This is necessary because the biofuel policy requires more and more agricultural products to be imported from emerging markets and developing countries. Investment protection for the biofuel industry would send a completely wrong message in this situation.
The ambitious biofuel targets of the EU have exacerbated the fight against hunger on a massive scale in the past few years. The biofuel policy has contributed to higher food prices, land grabbing and food shortages but has hardly made a difference in the reduction of greenhouse emissions. It is high time that the course for biofuel use is corrected at the EU level.
“Politicians need to realise that they are infringing valid UN agreements when they decide in favour of biofuel targets that hinders the realization of the human right to food in other countries,” says Dr. Rafaël Schneider, Senior Advisor for development policies.
The consequences for the world’s food supply have to be taken into account with regard to the energy transformation. Even improved biofuels will draw on land and water needed for the world’s food supply. “The rule ‘food before fuel’ still applies for all forms of use of agricultural products. Energy goals may not contradict development goals; instead, these goals must harmonize in the planned global agenda for sustainability. If we cling to the present course in biofuel policy at the EU level, we will not be able to reach the planned UN goal of eliminating hunger by 2030,” says Schneider.
Welthungerhilfe is one of the largest private aid organisations in Germany; politically independent and non-denominational. It is fighting for ‘Zero Hunger by 2030’. Since its establishment, more than 8,500 overseas projects in 70 countries have been supported with 3.27 billion euros. Welthungerhilfe works on the basic principle of help for self-help: from rapid disaster relief to reconstruction and long-term development cooperation projects with national and international partner organisations.