Biofuels – Food or Fuel?

21.2.2012
Glopolis issued a briefing paper related to the issue of biofuels.

The term “biofuel” evokes the sense of something organic or environment friendly. A nearly super-hero role was expected of biofuels, with a vision of them saving us from an energy crisis, climate change, and alleviating poverty in the developing world. However, the results so far differ rather substantially from these expectations. In fact, it seems that not only will biofuels fail to provide a remedy to the global challenges, their overly supported production is well on its way to exacerbating the critical situation and contributing signifi cantly to another global problem: the food crisis.

The aim of this paper is to introduce the topic of biofuels in a global context. Biofuel policies are so closely tied to many serious global issues that it is hard to ignore them. Glopolis offers a number of publications on hunger, the food crisis, and land grabbing; this publication seeks to elaborate on them by showing the role biofuels play in this rather unfortunate situation, as the link between hunger and biofuels is very strong. What biofuels are, the policies behind their production, and their impact on the poor will be looked at in greater detail in the following text.

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