Did you know?
- Globally 870 million people go to bed hungry every day
- Current EU use of biofuels would produce enough food to feed 185 million people every year
- The amount of grain to fill an average car in the EU with biofuel would feed a child for 200 days.
- Six million hectares have been taken over by European companies for biofuels in Africa between 2009-2013
Join the movement
Visit our project partners' website to discover how to take part:
- ActionAid Italy
- ActionAid Hellas (Greece)
- ActionAid Netherlands
- Peuples Solidaires (France)
- Glopolis (Czech Republic)
- Ekvilib (Slovenia)
The main aims of biofuel policies globally and in the EU have been to mitigate climate change (as an alternative to fossil fuels) and to improve energy security. However, the actual contribution of, in particular, land-based biofuels to fighting climate change has been seriously questioned.
Also, too little consideration has been given to the social impacts of biofuels and this has proven to have devastating impacts across the world’s poorest communities.
Consequences of biofuels production affecting small-scale farmers:
- Increase in food prices
- Land grabbing: land acquisitions or concessions made in violation of human rights and without any free, prior and informed consent of the affected land-users
- Devastating social impacts across the world’s poorest communities due to biofuels mandates and targets
- Release of indirect carbon emissions due to the displacement of the production in parts of the world where much carbon is stored in land and vegetation (Indirect Land-Use Change factor)
In 2009, the European Union (EU) adopted the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) with the aim of reducing European Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. The RED requires renewable energy sources to constitute 10% of the final consumption of energy for transport in each EU member state by 2020. Much of this energy is predicted to come from biofuels (despite the fact that biofuels are, overall, no greener than fossil fuels). The EU will review this 10% target in 2014, so there is a chance to press the decision-makers to get this policy in line with their stated commitment to tackling hunger and poverty, rather than making it worse.
As part of its commitment on the fight against hunger and poverty worldwide, ActionAid, in partnership with other organizations, has been implementing the project “We Won’t Accept Hunger: Mobilising Europeans on MDG 1 and the Right to Food” since May 2011, co-funded by the European Commission.
This project proposes innovative and creative approaches to putting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – especially MDG1 focusing on the fight against poverty and hunger – firmly in the minds of people in Europe and on the agenda of politicians and policy-makers, in the run up to the 2015 deadline that was set for achieving the goals.
The targeted outputs of the project are:
- Increased capacity of specific target groups to develop and lead advocacy on hunger and right to food
- Improved understanding and capacity of targeted media to write on the MDGs and hunger
- Improved public awareness of the extent of hunger globally and of hunger as a human rights issue
- Participation of trained ‘ambassador’ activists in campaigning activities directly related to the theme.
As part of this action, a group of ‘Ambassador’ activists has been mobilised around Europe to take part in national and international awareness raising campaigns on hunger, EU policies on biofuels, land grabbing issues and their relevance on smallholder farmers in the South and their right to food.
Ordinary people working together can achieve extraordinary results.
One person alone won’t achieve these goals, but we can all make a contribution together. By adding our voices to those of others we can ensure that the issue is on the agenda of the policy-makers, influence their decisions and build support for the solutions that we are arguing for.