Biofuels and Its Impact on the Global South

It’s day four of the Marrakesh Climate Negotiations and the global North is already exercising its power in most platforms including informal consultations. The Paris Agreement which came into force on the 4th of November, encourages countries to lower emissions in an attempt to maintain less than two degrees of temperature increase.

The European Union as a block of politico-economic united states has a vast range of up-to-date technology and information to help its transition to renewable energy to ensure lower emissions.

biofuels-and-its-impact-on-the-global-south

Fossil of the Day

Today at COP22 the EU voiced its ideas during the Agriculture Negotiations. The EU is pro biofuel. Biofuels are liquid fuels that have been derived from other materials such as plant matter or waste plant and animal matter. Biofuels are mostly used to aid clean transportation mechanisms. Biofuels are renewable, clean, inexpensive, flexible and carbon neutral.

However, the increased use of biofuels calls for more crops to be grown for the purpose which can result in a potential reduction of food crops, which can lead to a potential inflation. Loss of habitat for biodiversity will be inevitable as demand for biofuel hikes.

Therefore, the climate movement is skeptical of the use of Biofuel. The EU however, is pro biofuel. They are aware that biofuels does not result in any ‘Reduction’ of emissions. As the demand for biofuels increase, the illegal land claims, displacement due to loss of land and increase in food prices worldwide is expected.

EU voiced its opinion on expanding the use of biofuels in areas where agriculture takes places now. Financially strong public and private investors have been buying and renting arable land in Africa and southeast Asia known as Grab Lands. The EU’s expression of interest in biofuels refers to investments or opportunities for development as they put it, in the global south which already face tight nutrition situations; which will cause problems for the local populations. Southeast Asia faces more food insecurity than any other geographic region in the world and the interest of the EU to use the said lands for biofuel will create turmoil in the most vulnerable economies.

The EU should reflect on itself and power forward to decarbonise itself without replacing the fossil fuel problem with food insecurity in the global south. Actions of the EU today earned itself the Fossil Of The Day. Fossil of the Day awards were initiated in the 1999 talks in Bonn. Members of the Climate Action Network (CAN) at the climate negotiations vote for countries that are speculated to do its best to block the negotiation process from moving forward. Quoting CAN at COP22 during the Fossil of the Day Awards, “Fossil of the day goes to… The European Union for peddling biofuels and acting like the person with all the gear but no idea”.

Written by Dulanga Witharanage
Edited by Chang Zhun Yan

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