Stop biofuels now!

60,345 supporters

End of campaign: May 20, 2014

Experts on world hunger are sounding the alarm over biofuels, which are aggravating famine conditions and driving food prices higher. Agriculturally produced fuels are also harmful to the environment and climate: Rainforests are being cleared, biodiversity decimated and vast amounts of CO2 released. We call on the EU to abolish biofuels

Call to action

To: The European Commission, European Council and European Parliament

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Read letter

The EU directive promoting the use of energy from renewable sources requires millions of tons of biofuels to be added to gasoline and diesel fuels for road use. A share of 10% will be required in 2020.

Yet biofuels have grave consequences for human nutrition, as they are based almost entirely on food crops: corn, wheat, sugar beet and sugarcane are the raw materials for ethanol, while rapeseed, soybean and palm oil are used for biodiesel. Contrary to the claims of the biofuels lobby, the share of residual and waste materials and non-edible plants is minimal.

The production of biofuels requires huge tracts of land that are not only lost to food production, but also to nature, in Europe and worldwide: already 21 percent of Germany’s arable land – 2.5 million hectares – is being used to cultivate renewable fuel resources.

According to the German government, over half (53%) of the required ethanol is imported from overseas. Brazil – the world’s largest ethanol exporter – is clearing tropical forests and savannas for a sugarcane monoculture.

The production of biodiesel also means importing vast quantities of palm and soybean oil from Southeast Asia and South America. Rainforests are being burned for palm oil plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia, while Argentina and Brazil are clearing forests for soybean cultivation.

Even studies produced on behalf of the EU Commission confirm that biofuels are more harmful than petroleum-based fossil fuels.

The EU now intends to review its biofuels policy. Blending quotas and subsidies are a major source of income, however, and the powerful European biofuels lobby is committed to preventing reason from prevailing over business interests.

Please sign our petition to the EU.

Letter

To: The European Commission, European Council and European Parliament

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The United Nations (UN), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), researchers, human rights activists, development experts and environmentalists from around the world have been calling for years to put an end to the grave conflict between the fuel tank and the dinner table. Contrary to the claims of industry lobbyists, biofuels are produced almost exclusively from food crops. Food must not be wasted on cars.

Biofuels are also a disaster for the environment and our climate. Around the world, industrial monocultures are spreading at the expense of natural ecosystems and destroying biodiversity.

Vast and ever-increasing quantities of biofuels, or resources such as palm oil and soybean oil required for their production, are being imported from overseas. In South America, rainforests and savannas are being burned to make way for the cultivation of sugarcane for ethanol and soy monocultures for biodiesel. In Southeast Asia, tropical forests are being felled for palm oil plantations.

This is releasing vast quantities of CO2, to the detriment of the world’s climate. Biofuel production also consumes huge quantities of water, as well as fertilizers and pesticides that pollute the environment and adversely impact human health. Here in Europe, farmland birds are disappearing because their habitat is being lost to rapeseed monocultures.

We call on you to abolish the mandatory blending of biofuels and eliminate all related tax benefits, subsidies and imports. The human right to food, the preservation of biodiversity and the protection of the environment must take priority over the one-sided business interests of the biofuels industry.

Sincerely,