ABSTRACT

Impact of bioenergy on food security and food sovereignty The issue of biofuel quotas is a bone of contention with some environmental and humanitarian groups, which say over-zealous biofuel production could cause massive deforestation and lead to food shortages. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Jean Ziegler, in 2007 warned: ‘the conversion of arable land for plants used for green fuel had led to an explosion of agricultural prices which was punishing poor countries forced to import their food at a greater cost. Using land for biofuels would result in “massacres” ... It’s a total disaster for those who are starving’ (Lederer, 2007). This is one of various statements on the possible negative effects of large-scale fuel generation from biomass on food availability, food prices and food security. Recently, Brazilian President Lula de Silva declared: ‘I am offended when people point their fingers at clean biofuels – those fingers that are besmirched with coal and fossil fuels.’