AAUK Biofuels And Climate Change


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An climate change focused introduction to ActionAid UK's biofuels campaign launched in February 2010.The campaign is based on extensive global research of the risk that the continued growth of biofuels poses to food security in the developing world as well as to climate change. ActionAidUK is currently lobbying the UK government and Department for Transport to review its policy of increasing the percentage of biofuel in transport fuels to meet EU targets. For more info please visit actionaid.org.uk/biofuels or contact us on twitter @actionaiduk

Published in: News & Politics
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AAUK Biofuels And Climate Change

  1. 1. Flickr photo: Senor Sodo Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing humanity today
  2. 2. Many solutions have been sought and governments around the world have made pledges to find more renewable energy sources Flickr photo: Green_Mamba
  3. 3. Biofuels are seen as innovative, environmentally friendly and a step in the right direction Photo: ActionAid
  4. 4. Flickr Photo : Nic’s Events The UK government is currently planning how it will meet reduced emissions targets for the transport sector set by the EU
  5. 5. <ul><li>Good right? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Photo: Atul Loke/PANOS/ActionAid Wrong! Industrial biofuels are potentially worse for climate change then the fossil fuels they are meant to replace
  7. 7. They increase greenhouse gas emissions and harm biodiversity - not to mention alter the lives of farmers and the communities around them Meet Raju Sona, a farmer northeast India. He gave up food production to grow Jatropha which failed to give him an income. His family are much happier now that he is growing food again. Photo: Atul Loke/PANOS/ActionAId
  8. 8. Flickr photo: Kecko Biofuels, like cash crops before them, are following the model of large-scale, monoculture for export
  9. 9. Flickr Photo: slefhatingotaku The production of industrial biofuels relies on large amounts of fertiliser
  10. 10. Flickr Photo: Mikael Miettinen The fertilisers release nitrous oxides in large amounts and these greenhouse gases are AT LEAST 300 times more damaging to the climate than carbon dioxide
  11. 11. Not to mention producing biofuels are the least cost effective way to use crops in the fight to reduce emissions
  12. 12. Increased biofuel production creates more demand for land Photo: James Oatway/PANOS/ActionAid Julio Ngoene, village chief and farmer, Mozambique. A biofuel company is setting up a project near his village and has taken over – without permission – 85% of the village farmland and destroyed its crops
  13. 13. Photo : Tim Rice/ActionAid Cutting down rainforests and plowing up grasslands for biofuels releases massive amounts of carbon
  14. 14. Like in Indonesia where rainforests are being cut down to grow palm oil Flickr Photo : DMahendra
  15. 15. Or it can happen indirectly when farmers are pushed off their land and have to find other places to grow food Matilde Ngone, Mozambique. Matilde’s land was taken by a biofuel company Photo : James Oatway/PANOS/ActionAid
  16. 16. Flick photo: Matt and Kim Rudge By supporting industrial biofuels the UK government is doing more harm than good
  17. 17. Flickr Photo: Left to right digby graham , david.nikonvscannon The government should be changing attitudes towards transport and encouraging investment in cleaner technologies +
  18. 18. As if this wasn’t bad enough by supporting industrial biofuels the UK government is causing hunger photo credit: ActionAid Photo: ActionAid Ban Van Tuan is a Vietnamese farmer whose family has been trapped by global food price rises. Everyone has to skip at least one meal a day to cut costs. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation (OECD), a third of the rise in agriculture prices foreseen for the next ten years (2008-2017) will be caused by increased demand for industrial biofuels.
  19. 19. <ul><li>Biofuels could </li></ul><ul><li>push another 600 </li></ul><ul><li>million people into </li></ul><ul><li>hunger within the </li></ul><ul><li>next ten years </li></ul>Chelimo, aged nine, and her aunt Margaret, northern Kenya Photo: ActionAid
  20. 20. <ul><li>So what do people in the UK think about biofuels? </li></ul>
  21. 21. YouGov Poll of 2,000 people Flickr photo: World Resources Institute Staff 48% of people think that biofuel production leads or contributes to deforestation*
  22. 22. YouGov Poll of 2,000 people Flickr photo : Mikael Mittinen 17% thought it might even cause or contribute to climate change*
  23. 23. *YouGov Poll of 2,000 people. 34% neither agree or disagree with the statement – ‘The UK government should NOT be increasing this amount of biofuel in our petrol’, and 16% don’t know 49% of people have no strong opinion on whether the UK government should be increasing the use of Biofuels in petrol*
  24. 24. Maybe its time we help them and the UK government decide not to rely on the costly red herring that is biofuels
  25. 25. <ul><li>What can we do to make real change? </li></ul><ul><li>Visit actionaid.org.uk/biofuels and </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail the Department for Transport </li></ul><ul><li>Lobby your MP </li></ul><ul><li>Have your say and join the debate </li></ul><ul><li>4. Spread the word and make a difference </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Biofuels: Stop the disaster before it happens </li></ul>“ What we want is to get our farms back because that is what our livelihood is dependent on... we are dying of hunger and there is nothing that we have that is actually our own.” Matilde Ngoene, mother and farmer, Mozambique, November 2009 Photo: James Oatway/Panos/ActionAid
  27. 27. www.actionaid.org.uk Figures from YouGov plc: Total sample size was 2000 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18th - 21st December 2009.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+)