Feeds

Do biofuels cause famine? EU President opens probe

Culprit sought for higher food prices

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
Volcanic eruption in Iceland triggers CODE RED aviation warning
Lava-spitting Bárðarbunga prompts action from Met Office
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
LOHAN Kickstarter breaks NINETEEN THOUSAND of your EARTH POUNDS
That's right, OVER 9,000 beer tokens - and counting
Major cyber attack hits Norwegian oil industry
Statoil, the gas giant behind the Scandie social miracle, targeted
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.