Feeds

Do biofuels cause famine? EU President opens probe

Culprit sought for higher food prices

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso has asked for an investigation into whether the push for biofuels is to blame for rising food prices.

The Commission seems in the process of shifting away from its previous unbridled support for the technology. It emerged last weekend that the Commission may cancel its target of requiring ten per cent of petrol and diesel to be biofuel by 2020.

Barroso said he wanted a study on all aspects of the issue: "The impact on prices, the impact on agriculture, on development... all aspects." Barroso made the comments last week following a meeting with the Belgian prime minister.

Recent weeks have seen riots over food prices in Egypt, Haiti, Indonesia and Mauritania. The UN's World Food Programme has said it needs an extra $755m to maintain its core budget against rising prices. Rice prices have hit record levels this year and several countries have banned exports - India has renewed a ban on all exports of non-basmati rice.

A spokesman for the President told EU Observer that the comments did not mean the ten per cent target for biofuels was being abandoned. "It is simply for the president to look at the data on a possible link with food prices."

There have been other signs of division within the Commission on the issue, one official described the ten per cent target as "now secondary".

In the UK Whitehall is also reviewing biofuel targets. British motor fuels are currently required to have 2.5 per cent biofuel content.

Apart from the impact on food prices biofuels are also criticised for providing less than claimed reductions in CO2 - much Western production of biofuel crops is dependent on fertilisers, and the processing of crops also emits a lot of carbon. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.