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biofuels - food -comida

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 2 months ago
Menu Principal - Main menu

Dear friends,


EU and US demand for biofuels is pushing up world food prices and
increasing climate emissions. We should feed people, not cars--so join
the call for global standards to clean up the biofuels industry:
Click here now Each day, 820 million people in the developing world
do not have enough food to eat1. Food prices around the world are
shooting up, sparking food riots from Mexico2 to Morocco3. And the
World Food Program warned last week that rapidly rising costs are
endangering emergency food supplies for the world's worst-off4.

How are the wealthiest countries responding? They're burning food.

Specifically, they're using more and more biofuels--alcohol made from
plant products, used in place of petrol to fuel cars. Biofuels are
billed as a way to slow down climate change. But in reality, because
so much land is being cleared to grow them, most biofuels today are
causing more global warming emissions than they prevent5, even as they
push the price of corn, wheat, and other foods out of reach for
millions of people6.

Not all biofuels are bad--but without tough global standards, the
biofuels boom will further undermine food security and worsen global
warming. Click here to use our simple tool to send a message to your
head of state before this weekend's global summit on climate change in
Chiba, Japan, and help build a global call for biofuels regulation:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/biofuel_standards_now/9.php?cl=60471959

Sometimes the trade-off is stark: filling the tank of an SUV with
ethanol requires enough corn to feed a person for a year7. But not all
biofuels are bad; making ethanol from Brazilian sugar cane is vastly
more efficient than US-grown corn, for example, and green technology
for making fuel from waste is improving rapidly.

The problem is that the EU and the US have set targets for increasing
the use of biofuels without sorting the good from the bad. As a
result, rainforests are being cleared in Indonesia to grow palm oil
for European biodiesel refineries, and global grain reserves are
running dangerously low. Meanwhile, rich-country politicians can look
"green" without asking their citizens to conserve energy, and
agribusiness giants are cashing in. And if nothing changes, the
situation will only get worse.

What's needed are strong global standards that encourage better
biofuels and shut down the trade in bad ones. Such standards are under
development by a number of coalitions8, but they will only become
mandatory if there's a big enough public outcry. It's time to move:
this Friday through Saturday, the twenty countries with the biggest
economies, responsible for more than 75% of the world's carbon
emissions9, will meet in Chiba, Japan to begin the G8's climate change
discussions. Before the summit, let's raise a global cry for change on
biofuels:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/biofuel_standards_now/9.php?cl=60471959

A call for change before this week's summit won't end the food
crisis, or stop global warming. But it's a critical first step. By
confronting false solutions and demanding real ones, we can show our
leaders that we want to do the right thing, not the easy thing.

As Kate, an Avaaz member in Colorado, wrote about biofuels, "Turning
food into oil when people are already starving? My car isn't more
important than someone's hungry child."

It's time to put the life of our fellow people, and our planet, above
the politics and profits that too often drive international
decision-making. This will be a long fight. But it's one that we join
eagerly--because the stakes are too high to do anything else.

With hope,

Ben, Ricken, Iain, Galit, Paul, Graziela, Pascal, Esra'a, Milena --
the Avaaz.org team

SOURCES:

[1] World Food Programme. "Hunger Facts." Accessed 10 March 2008.
http://www.wfp.org/aboutwfp/facts/hunger_facts.asp

[2] The Sunday Herald (Scotland). "2008: The year of global food
crisis." 9 March 2008.
http://www.sundayherald.com/news/heraldnews/display.var.2104849.0.2008_the_year_of_global_food_crisis.php

[3] The Australian: "Biofuels threaten 'billions of lives'" 28
February, 2008.
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23336840-11949,00.html

[4] AFP: "WFP chief warns EU about biofuels." 7 March 2008.
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hpCFf3spGcDQUuILK5JFV-6NL1Dg

[5] New York Times: "Biofuels Deemed a Greenhouse Threat." 8 February
2008. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/08/science/earth/08wbiofuels.html

[6] The Times: "Rush for biofuels threatens starvation on a global
scale." 7 March 2008.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3500954.ece
... also see BBC: "In graphics: World warned on food price spiral." 10
March 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/7284196.stm

[7] The Economist: "The end of cheap food." 6 December 2007.
http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10252015

[8] See http://www.globalbioenergy.org,
http://cgse.epfl.ch/page70341.html, and
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3489640.ece.

[9] Government of Japan. "Percentage of global carbon dioxide
emissions (FY 2003) contributed by G20 nations."
http://www.env.go.jp/earth/g8/en/g20/index_popup.html


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ABOUT AVAAZ
Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning
organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the
world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in
many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or
corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in London, Rio de
Janeiro, New York, Paris, Washington DC, and Geneva.

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