Getting rid of biofuel programs would cut Europe’s food costs in half by 2020, and lower global food prices by 15 percent. That’s according to a new report, commissioned by the EU’s own Joint Research Center (JRC), released ahead of a critical European Parliament vote on Wednesday to cap biofuels’ contributions to the EU’s 2020 green targets.
Current EU targets have more than half of the continent’s vegetable oils going towards biodiesel production in 2020. The new paper points out that global food prices are “strongly driven” by their end use. As Euractiv puts it, “[w]hen more soy and palm oil are used for biofuels production, less is available for food use and the resulting scarcity drives food price inflation.”
Decreasing biodiesel production would mean more food production and therefore lower food prices. The JRC estimated that global food prices would decrease 8 percent by 2020 if the European Parliament agrees to cap biodiesel production, and by a whopping 15 percent if the biodiesel targets are scrapped altogether. Even greens recognize the folly of biofuels:
“The EU’s stated goal is to decarbonise our transport fuels, but this is simply not possible if we don’t count all the carbon released when new land is converted to grow fuel,” Nuša Urbančič, the clean fuels manager for green think tank Transport and Environment told EurActiv.
The European Parliament’s environment committee already voted to cap biofuel targets, but Wednesday’s vote will be critical to the boondoggle’s future in Europe. Meanwhile, two bills to reform and/or repeal America’s biofuel mandate are slowly working their way through the US Congress.
We may never know how many poor people around the world have suffered hunger or even starvation as a result of stupid green policies where naive greens have carried the water for big agricultural interests.