Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Agriculture

Biofuel Food Crisis – Europe Burns 15 Million Loaves of Bread Every Day

Originally published on Transport & Environment.

Europe turns 10,000 tonnes of wheat — the equivalent of 15 million loaves of bread [1] — every day into ethanol for use in cars, a new study shows. Transport & Environment, who carried out the study, calls for a halt to the burning of wheat and other food crops in biofuels and has labelled the biofuels lobby’s push for increased production as “immoral” in a time of acute global food shortages.

Maik Marahrens, biofuels manager at T&E, said: “Every year we burn millions of tons of wheat and other vital grains to power our cars. This is unacceptable in the face of a global food crisis. Governments must urgently stop the burning of food crops in cars to reduce pressure on critical supplies.”

Removing wheat from European biofuels would offset more than 20% of the collapsed Ukrainian wheat supplies to the global market, according to the study. In countries like Egypt, which imports over 60% of its wheat, mainly from Russia and Ukraine, these additional supplies to the market would be life saving.

Today, a group of leading European NGOs, including T&E, has called on governments to immediately halt the use of food crops for fuel. Ensuring stable energy supplies to people and the economy must not come at the expense of food security or lead food price inflation to spiral out of control, says the group.

There are growing calls, particularly among Europe’s biofuels lobby (ePure and European Biodiesel Board), for Russian oil to be replaced with biofuels made from crops like wheat, corn, barley, sunflower, rapeseed and other vegetable oils. This is despite soaring food prices in the wake of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, which has decimated the breadbasket of Europe. Ukraine and Russia together provide about a quarter of the globally traded wheat and barley, 15% of corn and over 60% of sunflower oil.

Even if Europe were to double the amount of farmland it dedicates to biofuels — equivalent to at least 10% of the EU’s farmland for crops — this would replace just 7% of the EU’s imports of oil from Russia. To replace all Russian oil imports with home-grown biofuels would need at least two-thirds of the bloc’s farmland for crops.

Maik Marahrens, concluded: “The biofuels industry is stepping up its lobbying efforts to push for more grains like wheat and corn to replace Russian oil. In doing so it is cynically taking advantage of people’s concerns over fuel prices, putting profit over food security. This is immoral while millions of people around the world cannot afford even a loaf of bread.”

List of signatories so far to letter sent to national governments:

DUH
ZERO
Ecodes
Ecologistas
Biofuelwatch
RGO
Focus
Welthaus Graz
VCÖ
Transport & Environment
Legambiente
Circular Economy
IEW
2Celsius
The Corner House
Sustain The alliance for better food and farming
Transport Action Network
Feedback Global
UK Youth Climate Coalition
Wen (Women’s Environmental Network)
Faith for the Climate
Campaign against Climate Change

[1] Based on a typical 750 gram loaf.

 
Check out our brand new E-Bike Guide. If you're curious about electric bikes, this is the best place to start your e-mobility journey!
 
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Advertisement
 
Written By

We publish a number of guest posts from experts in a large variety of fields. This is our contributor account for those special people, organizations, agencies, and companies.

Comments

You May Also Like

Cars

Stellantis Shines In Europe — Plugin Vehicle Sales Report With the overall European car market still suffering, down 13% last month year over year...

Clean Transport

In a recent press release, Ford announced that it chose the company’s Valencia, Spain, plant for something special. But it was so busy being...

Climate Change

Germany activated the “alarm stage,” phase two of three of the country’s emergency methane-based gas plans, on Thursday after Russia’s Gazprom throttled deliveries by...

Sticky Post

I recently explored the market share growth of electric vehicles in 15 European countries where electric vehicles have become most popular. From 15.9% market...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.