Biofuel Battle at UN Summit

John Davis

World leaders are meeting this week in Rome, Italy to discuss the current world food crisis.

While some there are trying to blame biofuels for the recent spike in food prices, this CNN story says the industry has some heavy-hitting allies who argue before the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization that green energy is not to blame for more green being spent on grocery bills:

The president of Brazil, whose country’s sugar cane has long been used to produce ethanol that fuels cars and trucks, delivered an impassioned defense of biofuels.

“It is frightening to see attempts to draw a cause-and-effect relationship between biofuels and the rise of food prices,” said Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. “It offends me to see fingers pointed against clean energy from biofuels, fingers soiled with oil and coal.”

And U.S. leaders are there as well to dispute claims that biodiesel and ethanol production are fully responsible for raising food prices worldwide by 30 percent or more:

While agreeing that sustainability and innovation are needed, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer insisted that biofuels contribute only 2 or 3 percent to a predicted 43 percent rise in prices this year.

“The use of sustainable biofuels can increase energy security, foster economic development especially in rural areas, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions without weighing heavily on food prices,” Schafer said in his address.

The talks continues through Thursday.

Biodiesel, Ethanol, News