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Anti-Biofuel Ideologues Support the Oil Status Quo

Submitted by on September 20, 2017 – 1:55 pmNo Comment

by Eric Sievers (Ethanol Europe/Euractiv)  Anti-biofuel ideologues claim to be pro-climate and pro-development. But their positions, in fact, support the oil status quo, the concentration of power in the energy sector in the hands of large multinationals and the decline of the EU farming sector, writes Eric Sievers.

In the study conducted by consultancy Cerulogy for the NGOs BirdLife and Transport & Environment, this manifests itself in taking a decade-old study from an eminent economist that warns of a high risk of biofuels impact food prices and then ignores the same economist’s follow-on paper three years later admitting that the data support no meaningful correlation with biofuels—only with oil.

A certain die-hard (and well-funded) group of just a half dozen individuals in the biofuels debates has for the past decade generated increasingly misleading “facts” to support an ideological crusade against biofuels. At this point, their effort is fundamentally insane; actual data support the real world reality that EU ethanol (and ethanol policy) has created a wealth of jobs and rural sustainable development, as well as a fuel that has surpassed all climate expectations and high protein animal feed that is increasingly needed in Europe. Under no measure (that is based on real values rather than theorised values from a decade ago that have been definitively disproven or just ancient data) is EU ethanol “worse than oil”, and under the legally required methodology of the EU, it is actually 70% better than oil, on track to reach 90% in a few years.  All with no adverse consequences.

These anti-biofuel ideologues claim to be pro-climate and pro-development, but their positions in fact support the oil status quo, the concentration of power in the energy sector in the hands of large multinationals, the decline of the EU farming sector, the abandonment of rural European villages, low rural incomes, less EU energy security, and a host of other perverse outcomes that are antithetical to the goals that these ideologues say they support.

… 26 old predictions say biofuels make commodity prices high. …

It is even more worrying that, despite this group’s documented track record of bringing misinformation into the biofuels debates (these individuals were active, even fanatical, promoters of the mega-lie that EU biofuels policy led to 6 million hectares of land grabs in Africa), there are still people that listen to them (and fund them, the EU Commission being their major funder).

Biofuels use has gone way up, and prices of crops have come way down.

And Europe continues to abandon good agricultural land in vast quantities.

Having pro-climate and/or development NGOs fight the bioeconomy is, thus, perverse and no more and no less than an active extension of aid and comfort to the fossil fuels industry.


FAO official: Food-based biofuels not necessarily bad (Euractiv)

ePURE: Europe’s ethanol industry produces low-carbon fuel (Ethanol Producer Magazine)

Demand for biofuels is increasing global food prices, says study (The Guardian)


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