The EU wants at least ten per cent of transport fuels to come from renewable sources within the next ten years. This target will be met in the main by industrial biofuels – fuels made on an industrial scale from agricultural crops, including important staple foods. The majority are likely to come from developing countries.
But, says Action Aid in Meals per gallon: the impact of industrial biofuels on people and global hunger, the proposed legislation would lead to a nearly fourfold increase in the amount of biofuels used in Europe’s petrol and diesel. It says this will have a disastrous impact on the world’s poor as food prices rise.
Report author Tim Rice said: ‘Biofuels are driving a global human tragedy. Local food prices have already risen massively. As biofuel production gains pace, this can only accelerate.
‘Poor people can spend as much as 80 per cent of their income on food. Even small increases in the price of staples such as mai