Global Biofuels Group Calls Qatar Comments “Self-Serving”

Cindy Zimmerman

Global RFAThe Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) is calling comments made this week by a Qatari government advisor about biofuels contributing to world hunger “self-serving.”

At a global grains summit in Turkey on Monday, Quatari food security program advisor Mahendra Shah was quoted as saying, “Biofuels will trigger an increase in agricultural prices. Biofuels will result in another 120 million people hungry, just because we’re growing biofuels.” He cited a study by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Fund for International Development (OFID) which claims the use of crops for biofuels is forecast to raise food prices by 30 percent to 50 percent by 2050.

Noting that the report cited was funded by OPEC’s International Development arm, GRFA spokesperson, Bliss Baker said, “This so-called report from 2009 cannot withstand any level of academic scrutiny and is a self serving attempt to distract people from the real impact that energy prices are having on global commodities.”

“Qatar, a key OPEC member and promoter of this report, derives 85% of its export earnings and over 70% of its government revenues from crude oil. Qatar’s agenda is to promote crude oil and discredit alternatives like biofuels,” Baker added.

According to GRFA, there is evidence that demonstrates that the OFID report is wrong, including a 2011 study by the International Energy Agency that says “by 2050, biofuels could provide 27% of total transport fuel” and will “not compromise food security”. The GRFA recently published data showing a clear and direct link between crude oil prices and the UN FAO’s Food Price Index.

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