Friends of the Earth report says biofuels in Latin America harming environment, human rights

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Article
11 September 2008

EU legislators call for more modest biofuels goal

Author: James Kanter, International Herald Tribune

European legislators said...that ambitious government targets for using biofuels should be pared back dramatically, in a big setback to the fledgling industry. European Union governments last year pledged to increase the use of biofuels to 10 percent of all transport fuel by 2020 from a negligible amount currently...Since then...scientists and environmentalists argu[ed] that they may be more polluting than fossil fuels and that the diversion of crops to fuel production has helped to drive up food prices. On Thursday, members of the Industry Committee of the European Parliament backed proposals for a medium-term goal that would lead to 5 percent of transport fuels from biofuels by 2015, with one percent of that amount from sources like hydrogen or electricity...Biofuels manufacturers now are stepping up their campaign to ensure the future of their industry in Europe.

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Article
10 September 2008

New report reveals real price of agrofuels in Latin America

Author: Friends of the Earth International

The rapid development of agrofuels in Latin America looks set to increase big business profits but it is not benefiting local people, according to a new report...by Friends of the Earth International...[being] published one day before key MEPs vote on the future demand for agrofuels in Europe. The new report - 'Fuelling Destruction in Latin America'...states that increasing the amount of land destined to grow crops for agrofuels means increasing deforestation and wildlife destruction, increased land conflicts, eviction of rural people, poor working conditions and environmental pollution.

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Article
10 September 2008

[PDF] Fuelling destruction in Latin America

Author: Friends of the Earth

Rapid expansion in the use of agricultural crops as a transport fuel has been justified in Northern countries as a prodevelopment policy that will help bring developing countries out of poverty...No other region has embraced this idea as much as Latin America...The crucial issue is whether these claims are correct and justified. Do the majority of farmers and peasants in these countries find themselves being assisted out of poverty and does the production of soy, sugarcane and palm oil increase employment? Are the crops really being grown sustainably and does the production of agrofuels indeed not compete with food supplies?...This report looks into these questions and issues for...Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Colombia...Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala. It reports on the social, environmental and human rights impacts of the current agrofuel developments. [refers to Cargill, Bunge, Noble Group, BASF, Bayer, Syngenta, Glencore, Nidera, Louis Dreyfus, Oil Fox, Neckermann-Gate, Lurgi, Monsanto, Botnia, ENCE, Stora Enso, Akuo Energy, Ecofuel, Renova, Repsol, PDVSA, Petrobras, Weyerhaeuser, Palmadó, Palmas, Palma de Curvaradó, Urapalma, Daabon, Famar, Buquebus, Teyma, Pandelco, COUSA (Compañía Oleaginosa Uruguaya SA), Gulf Ethanol, Carbosur, Factor CO2, Alur Alcoholes del Uruguay, Ecosol, Biocombustibles del Plata, Energías Biodegradables de Costa Rica, Southridge Enterprises,Bioenergía, Biosalva (Industrias de Biodiesel de El Salvador), Biocarburantes Manchegos, ICINSA] [we welcome any comments by companies mentioned in the report to post alongside it on our website]

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Author: Les Amis de la Terre

Les Amis de la Terre International...[ont publié un rapport intitulé] « Alimenter la destruction en Amérique latine »...[Il porte] sur l’impact réel des agrocarburants sur ce continent. Basé sur des études menées dans 7 pays, il met en évidence l’aggravation des conflits fonciers, l’éviction des populations pauvres, les conditions de travail désastreuses et l’augmentation de la déforestation liées au développement des agrocarburants...

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