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Agrofuel Target is Not Sustainable

The European Commission's draft EU Renewable Energy Directive, published today, ignores numerous recent warnings on the environmental and social damage of its proposed 10 per cent target for agrofuel use in the transport sector by 2020.

EU member states had demanded that the 10 per cent target be met 'sustainably', but the EU Joint Research Centre and the UK Parliament Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) have expressed strong doubts that this can be achieved. The EAC has also argued for a moratorium on agrofuel targets.

A coalition of civil society groups have consistently called for the target to be scrapped and for the EU to implement a moratorium on targets and other incentives for agrofuel expansion.

"The European Commission's failure to act on the many warnings is shockingly irresponsible," says Nina Holland of Corporate Europe Observatory, a lobby watchdog group based in the Netherlands.

"Now it is up to the EU governments and the European Parliament to ensure that the EU's 10 per cent target for agrofuels is dropped and that a moratorium is introduced on all targets and incentives for agrofuels and agro-energy," says Helena Paul of Econexus, a public interest research organisation based in the UK.

"The sustainability criteria proposed by the European Commission exclude vital factors such as large scale water extraction, soil erosion, land conflicts, human rights and labour conditions of workers. Moreover, they can't deal with macro-level impacts such as displacement and increased food prices," says Stella Semino of Grupo de Reflexión Rural (Argentina).

There are several other major flaws with the draft Directive. For example, all agrofuels produced in installations that were already operational in January 2008 will be exempted from even those few criteria that the Commission poses until 2013.

The Directive is also limited in its scope to covering only 'biofuels' and 'bioliquids', but not solid biomass such as wood or palm kernel.

A more detailed media briefing highlighting the major flaws in the draft directive, and drawing attention to recent criticisms of the EU agrofuel target, can be found at: www.tni.org/detail_page.phtml?act_id=17839

Numerous calls have been made internationally for a moratorium on the expansion and international trade of agrofuels. These can be found at: www.biofuelwatch.org

Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network Biofuelwatch Corporate Europe Observatory Grupo de Reflexion Rural Econexus Ecoropa GM Freeze (UK) Latin American Network against Monoculture Tree Plantations Munlochy Vigil Rettet den Regenwald (Germany) Salva la Selva (Ecuador) Transnational Institute World Rainforest Movement

 

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Stop ISDS campaign 2019

Documents released to Corporate Europe Observatory following a Freedom of Information request reveal how pro-biotech lobby platform Public Research Regulation Initiative (PRRI) unites industry, researchers and regulators in ‘like-minded’ groups to influence crucial international biosafety talks under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

In May 2017, the global biotech and seed industry lobby groups landed in Budapest for their annual congress. They launched a joint campaign with one key goal: to get governments worldwide to adopt a zero-regulation approach to new genetic modification (GM) techniques, often termed gene-editing techniques. The seed industry magazine SeedWorld stated that the timing of this international campaign is critical “as policymakers and governments around the world discuss plant breeding innovations, and if and how they should be regulated”.

On the occasion of the International Day of Farmers' Struggle, we have jointly with allies prepared five short visions for a sustainable, healthy and fair food and trade policy to restart this important debate.

Wouldn't it be time that the EU stops allowing a direct representation of the food industry's interests on the Board of the EU Food Safety Authority (EFSA)?

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