Biofuels boom in Africa as British firms lead rush on land for plantations (online)

The Guardian (UK), 31/05/2011

> The article reveals that British firms have acquired more land in Africa for controversial biofuel plantations than companies from any other country. Half of the 3.2m hectares (ha) of biofuel land identified – in countries from Mozambique to Senegal – is linked to 11 British companies, more than any other country. Liquid fuels made from plants – such as bioethanol – are hailed by some as environmentally friendly replacements for fossil fuels. Because they compete for land with crop plants, biofuels have also been linked to record food prices and rising hunger. There are also fears they can increase greenhouse gas emissions. A market has been created by British and EU laws requiring the blending of rising amounts of biofuels into petrol and diesel, but the rules were condemned as unethical and “backfiring badly” in April by a Nuffield Council on Bioethics commission. In the UK, only 31% of biofuels used meet voluntary environmental standards intended to protect water supplies, soil quality and carbon stocks in the source country. There are no central records of land acquisitions in Africa, but research by the Guardian revealed the scale of the biofuels rush in sub-Saharan Africa  – 100 projects and 50 companies in more than 20 countries. Read the full story online

L’articolo “Boom biocarburanti in Africa, i britannici guidano la corsa alle terre”  rivela che le imprese britanniche hanno acquisito più terra in Africa, per le controverse  piantagioni  di biocarburanti, che le imprese di qualsiasi altro paese. La metà dei 3,2 milioni di ettari (ha) di terra per biocarburanti identificati finora – in paesi dal Mozambico al Senegal – è legato a 11 società britanniche. I combustibili liquidi a base di piante – come il bioetanolo – sono salutati da alcuni come sostituti ecologici dei combustibili fossili. Poiché competono con le colture tradizionali, i biocarburanti sono stati accusati di aver fatto impennare i prezzi dei prodotti alimentari, allargando la piaga della fame. Si teme anche che possano contribuire a un aumento delle emissioni di gas a effetto serra. Leggi l’articolo originale in inglese sul web

This entry was posted in CLIMATE - Clima, DEVELOPMENT - Sviluppo, ECHOLOGY - Ecologia, ENERGY - Energia, PEOPLES - Popoli, RESOURCES - Risorse and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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