The Soil Association warned last week, at its annual conference, that converting more land from food to biofuel production could raise the risk of future famines. Peter Melchett said:
“This [expansion in land used for biofuels] sacrifices food security for an illusion of energy security.”
He went on to say that more could be achieved by converting 18% of arable land to organic farming. The trend for biofuels has sparked a food versus fuel debate, with concern that climate change could reduce the amount of agricultural land, coupled with a rise in the demand for food due to population growth.
John Gapper, columnist for the Financial Times, asked whether the biofuel movement is a space race or a gold rush? He suggests:
“The West wants to emulate Brazil, where cars run on ethanol refined from sugar cane. But there is no cane… [so] arable crops are being taken from people’s mouths and put into their fuel tanks instead.”
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