In 2007, EcoNexus, in collaboration with many other organisations, notably Biofuelwatch, was focused on the EU process for developing the renewable energy directive (2009/28/EC). We were predicting negative impacts in the global south and in Europe from the development of bioenergy.
The Agrofuel Moratorium call had a huge number of signatories, many from the global south, already feeling the impacts of the interest in biofuels as a so-called sustainable alternative to fossil fuels.
However, the directive, mostly focused on bioenergy rather than wind, wave or solar, went ahead and helped to propel the EU towards a biofuel policy whose negative impacts are still being felt around the world.
This moratorium call sadly shows how often damaging policies are implemented, for example on the pretext of addressing global warming, that encourage companies to develop new technologies and products that are not necessarily in the interests of people and planet and that quite often fail, even on their own terms.
The hunt for bioenergy alternatives has acted as an unfortunate diversion from reducing emissions. Both the EU and the UK have longterm policies (UK to 2030) to develop the bioeconomy, still promoted as providing alternatives to ‘finite fossil fuel resources’ and based on 'bioscience and biotechnology'. There is more discussion of the issues in the EcoNexus paper A Foreseeable Disaster, written for the Transnational Institute, 2013.
The undersigned call for an immediate moratorium on EU incentives for agrofuels and agroenergy from large-scale monocultures including tree plantations and a moratorium on EU imports of such agrofuels. This includes the immediate suspension of all targets, incentives such as tax breaks and subsidies which benefit agrofuels from large-scale monocultures, including financing through carbon trading mechanisms, international development aid or loans from international finance organisations such as the World Bank. This call also responds to the growing number of calls from the global south against agrofuel monoculturesi, which EU targets are helping to promote.