Mouvement mondial pour les forêts tropicales

Agrofuels – Towards a reality check in nine key areas

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By Various Organizations, June 2007


This paper has been published on the occasion of the twelfth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Paris, 2-6 July 2007. This review of data and publications and policy analyses on many, often interconnected issues could only be achieved thanks to the contributions of many concerned citizens and experts from many countries.

This paper sets out critical concerns regarding the current push to develop agrofuels in transport, especially in industrialised countries. We call ‘biofuels’ here ‘agrofuels’, in line with the opinion of the Via Campesina, for example, who declared that: “We can’t call this a ‘bio-fuels program’. We certainly can’t call it a ‘bio-diesel program’. Such phrases use the prefix ‘bio’ to subtly imply that the energy in question comes from ‘life’ in general. This is illegitimate and manipulative. We need to find a term in every language that describes the situation more accurately, a term like agro-fuel. This term refers specifically to energy created from plant products grown through agriculture.”

This paper does not pretend to cover all the possible impacts of large-scale agrofuel production, but to highlight some key areas in which impacts are to be expected.

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