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Tag: European Commission
EU Cap Only Boosts Biofuels (October 4 2012) EU Cap Only Boosts Biofuels (October 4 2012)

Daan Bauwens the Belgian freelance investigative journalist for the international press agency Inter Press Service, and founder of the documentary film collective “Reach”, has published an article on IPS titled ‘EU Cap Only Boosts Biofuels’. In the article Bauwens states “The European Commission has announced it will limit the amount of crop-based biofuels used in transport, but its newly proposed measures are not nearly enough to curb the disastrous impact of the EU’s biofuel policy around the world. Its effects will only worsen, activists say. …Europe’s hunger for biofuels is pushing up global food prices and driving people off their land, resulting in deeper hunger and malnutrition in poor countries. …despite soy and maize prices being at all-time highs in July and prices of cereals and oil remaining at peak levels in August, the Commission and most governments seemed to turn a blind eye to the devastating impacts that EU biofuels mandates have on food prices and land rights. …“I’m happy the EC is finally recognising the fact that the use of food-crops for fuel is problematic,” says Ruth Kelly, Oxfam’s economic policy advisor and writer of Oxfam’s new report, “but putting a cap of 5 percent on biofuel consumption is ridiculous. At this moment the biofuel use in the EU is only at 4.5 percent. So the new cap of 5 percent is actually an increase of what we’re using at the moment. In 2008 biofuels accounted for 3.5 percent of all transport fuels in the EU. That same year, the land that was required to grow crops for those biofuels could have fed 127 million people.”


Inspired by IPS image source ATIT

Daniel Gros the German Director of the Brussels-based Center for European Policy Studies, and former economic adviser to the European Commission, believes that only determined action by EU governments that is strongly supported by their citizens will save the common currency. Gros published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘Democracy versus the eurozone‘ in which he states “The reality is that the larger member states are more equal than the others. Of course, this is not fair, but the EU’s inability to impose its view on democratic countries might actually sometimes be for the best, given that even the Commission is fallible. The broader message from the Greek and French elections is that the attempt to impose a benevolent creditors’ dictatorship is now being met by a debtors’ revolt. Financial markets have reacted as strongly as they have because investors recognise that the “sovereign” in sovereign debt is an electorate that can simply decide not to pay. This is already the case in Greece, but the fate of the euro will be decided in the larger, systemically important countries like Italy and Spain. Only determined action by their governments, supported by their citizens, will show that they merit unreserved support from the rest of the eurozone. At this point, nothing less can save the common currency.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source World Economic Forum

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