(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The European Union continues to ignore that its biofuels policies are driving up global food prices and pushing people in poor countries off their land, according to a report released Wednesday by the intrnational aid agency, ActionAid.
The report titled 'Fuel for thought' says that increased demand for biofuels may push global food prices to crisis levels; EU's biofuels policies alone could push up oilseed prices by up to 33 percent, maize by up to 22 percent, sugar by up to 21 percent and wheat by up to 10 percent, between now and 2020.
Laura Sullivan from ActionAid's office in Brussels noted that if the EU continues to ignore the impacts of its biofuels policy on people living in some of the poorest parts of the planet, it will effectively be sponsoring hunger and human rights abuses on a massive scale.
With an estimated 13-19 million hectares of land outside of Europe needed to meet the EU-wide targets, forced displacements of poor people from their land are set to increase, to grow fuel for the European market, warns the report.
The ActionAid report, launched at a biofuels confernce with participants from the EU, United Nations, NGOs and business, in Brussels shows how a series of deals by European companies have led to mass displacements and rights abuses in countries in Africa and Latin America.
Eleven villages in Tanzania were affected when a British company seized 8, 200 hectares of land to grow fuel for the European market.
In Guatemala, a country that the EU labels as being a significant supplier of biofuels for the European market, the grabbing of land for sugar production has resulted in violent clashes and 3 deaths.
ActionAid called on the EU to investigate the full impacts of its biofuels policies on human rights and to drop its 10 percent target for renewable energy in transport by 2020, 88 percent of which will come from first generation biofuels.