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Posted Mon Aug 17 2009: from Guardian (UK):
Developed countries' demand for biofuels has been 'disastrous'
The production of biofuels is fuelling poverty, human rights abuses and damage to the environment, Christian Aid warned today. The charity said huge subsidies and targets in developed countries for boosting the production of fuels from plants such as maize and palm oil are exacerbating environmental and social problems in poor nations. And rather than being a "silver bullet" to tackle climate change, the carbon emissions of some of the fuels are higher than fossil fuels because of deforestation driven by the need for land for them to grow.... [I]ndustrial scale production of biofuels is worsening problems such as food price hikes in central America, forced displacement of small farmers for plantations and pollution of local water sources.... Developed countries have poured subsidies into biofuel production -- for example in the US where between 9.2 billion dollars and 11 billion dollars went to supporting maize-based ethanol in 2008 -- when there are cheaper and more effective ways to cut emissions from transport, the report said.... "[T]he best approach to biofuels is to grow them on a small scale and process them locally to provide energy for people in the surrounding countryside."
[Read more stories about: alternative energy, carbon emissions, economic myopia]

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'Doc Michael says:
Small-scale production for local needs? What economy are they from?

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