Protest EU biofuel encouraging deforestation Jan 07

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    Martin W

    Just in from Ecological Internet:

    There exist serious concerns regarding the production of
    plantation crops on lands cleared of ancient rainforests for
    production of biodiesel in Europe in particular. For example,
    remaining natural orangutan habitat and their rainforest
    ecosystems in Southeast Asia are threatened by the unsustainable
    harvesting of palm oil for the use of biofuels. The campaign to
    stop Europe’s “Deforestation Biofuel” Energy Policy is now at an
    important decision point, as the European Commission is expected
    to finalize the “Biomass Action Plan” policy by January 10th for
    biofuels sourced from plantations cleared from ancient
    rainforests. Earlier the European Parliament voted for rapid
    market expansion before safeguards are put in place. Please tell
    the European Commission now that they must prevent biofuels from
    causing ever greater deforestation, biodiversity losses, and
    evictions and impoverishment of local communities both in
    tropical rainforests and Europe. Unrestrained industrial biofuel
    expansion will accelerate, not slow down, climate change; as
    peatlands, rainforests, forests and croplands across the world
    are converted to energy crop monocultures and release their
    carbon in the process.


    See also Birdlife International page:
    Unsustainable biofuels threaten the environment

    Post edited by: Martin, at: 2007/05/29 02:49

    Martin W

    For more on the problems with biofuels, see: biofuelwatch

    Biofuelwatch highlight the environmental impacts of the global biofuel market, especially the vast releases of greenhouse gases and considerable biodiversity losses they can cause. We campaign for regulation to ensure only sustainably-sourced biofuels can be sold in the EU.
    Martin W

    [/quote]PRESS RELEASE
    For immediate release – 13th August 2007
    Joint Press Release by Biofuelwatch, Ecological Internet and
    Rainforest Rescue

    Biofuel expansion threatens Europe’s wildlife as agricultural set-
    asides are to be scrapped

    Millions of farm birds could be left without enough food and
    breeding sites next spring if plans to scrap Europe’s agricultural
    land set-aside targets for next year go ahead, warn environmental
    groups. Plans to set a zero set-aside targets from October this
    year have been announced by the EU Commissioner for Agriculture,
    Mariann Fischer-Boel, as a response to rising food prices. Those
    plans are to be ratified by ministers this autumn. Several studies
    confirm that set-asides have become a vital habitat for many of
    Europe’s endangered birds and insects, and that farm birds have
    declined by nearly 50% on average since 1980. Over 5300 people
    have written to European politicians this month, asking for the
    plans to be dropped and supporting a moratorium on biofuel targets.

    Glen Barry, Director of Ecological Internet explains: “Dramatic
    declines in insect, bird and wild flower populations show that many
    of Europe’s ecosystems are under extreme stress from intensive
    agriculture and climate change. Our future depends on protecting
    healthy ecosystems. We need real cuts in greenhouse gas emissions,
    with massive cuts in energy use as well as truly sustainable
    renewable energy, such as wind and solar power. More intensively
    farmed monocultures cannot be part of the solution.”

    Almuth Ernsting from Biofuelwatch adds “There is no doubt that the
    expansion in biofuels is pushing up food prices. The European
    Union are committed to stopping biodiversity losses by 2010 but
    those plans will almost certainly make this impossible. Our birds
    and insects must not be sacrificed for biofuel expansion. We need
    a moratorium on EU biofuel targets and incentives now – and we need
    to keep our set asides until they can be replaced with better
    environmental safeguards.”

    Few environmental NGOs regard the current set-aside system, as
    being the ideal instrument for protecting farmland biodiversity,
    although it provides a safety net for many species. Many NGOs hope
    that a ‘health check’ of the Common Agricultural Policy in 2008
    will lead to more targeted environmental safeguards. However,
    there are widespread concerns that sudden scrapping of all set-
    aside targets without any replacement or reform will devastate bird
    and insect populations.

    According to Reinhard Behrend from Rainforest Rescue, Germany,
    “biofuel expansion is already causing rainforest destruction and
    the displacement of large numbers of communities in the global
    South. At the same time, poor people are hit hardest by rising
    food prices whilst Europe burns more and more food in cars. The
    only logical solution is to suspend biofuel targets, whilst
    drastically reducing our overall fuel use.”


    Almuth Ernsting, Biofuelwatch, info[at], UK –
    Tel 0044-(1)224-324797 or 0044 (1)224-7925 364186

    Glen Barry, Ecological Internet, US,
    GlenBarry[at] -Tel 001-920 776 1075


    1. For further details of the organisations involved see:
    Ecological Internet: http://www.EcoEarth.Info
    Rainforest Rescue:

    2. An email action alert against the planned abolition of set-
    aside targets for 2008 and for a moratorium on EU biofuel targets
    has been signed by over 5300 individuals and can be found at
    and .

    3. A call for a Moratorium on EU biofuel targets and incentives,
    and on large-scale monocultures for bioenergy in Europe has been
    signed by 152 organisations from the global North and South. The
    text and the list of signatories can be found at [/quote]

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