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The food v. fuel debate: is it possible for EU regulation to set meaningful targets for biofuel deployment in the transport sect - Essay Example

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The food v. fuel debate: is it possible for EU regulation to set meaningful targets for biofuel deployment in the transport sector without leading to a world food crisis? By Course University Date Abstract Global concerns about climate change due to carbon emissions and greenhouse gases linked to the production and use of fossil fuels, particularly in transport motivated the EU’s policies on the production and use of biofuels as an alternative source of energy…
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The food v. fuel debate: is it possible for EU regulation to set meaningful targets for biofuel deployment in the transport sect

Download file to see previous pages... It has been argued that cumulatively, these unintended consequences will inevitably lead to a food crisis as demands for biofuels increase to meet national targets such as those established by the EU. On the other side of the debate, it is argued that any price increase in food crops is only short-term and is primarily related to an increase in the price of fossil fuels and population growth worldwide. This dissertation examines both sides of the argument and concludes that the EU can accomplish its national targets for biofuels without causing a food crisis. In particular, a review of literature suggests that many of the problems perceived with the production of biofuels are related to the production chain and can be resolved by improving and monitoring production channels and methodologies. This dissertation concludes that in the absence of biofuels, a food crisis is all but certain since the price of fossil fuels and its likely demise together with its environmental costs will most certainly have a negative impact on all consumer products, including food. Table of Contents Abstract 2 Introduction 4 Arguments Against the Production of Biofuels 6 Increase in Food Prices 6 Biofuels and the Environment 9 Arguments in Favour of Biofuels 12 Analysis 16 Conclusion 19 Bibliography 20 Introduction Between 2006 and 2008, the world’s crops reached unprecedented high levels of production and at the same time, the price of food increased significantly.1The accelerating price of food, particularly sugar and cereal runs parallel to an increase in the production of biofuels. Governments have increasingly introduced targets for the use of biofuels in the transport sector.2 In the EU, biodiesel is the most popular grade of biofuel and for the year 2003 alone, the EU produced 1,504,000 tonnes of biodiesel.3The year 2003 is important because it corresponds with Directive 2003/30/EC on the Promotion of the use of Biofuels or other Renewable Fuels for Transport. Directive 2003/30/EC had as its goal, “national targets” in which all member states would ensure that at least 2% of all fuels available would be biofuels.4 Directive 2003/30/EC was repealed by Directive 2009/28/EC on the Promotion of the use of Energy from Renewable Sources. Directive 2009/28/EC established a new national target for member states. Member states are required to make at least 20% of all fuel available, biofuels of other sources of renewable energy by the year 2020.5 The reason for the national targets is related to findings that 21% of “all greenhouse gas emissions” that are responsible for “global warming’ is attributed to transport and it is believed that the “percentage is rising”.6 The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is important because it is harmful to the environment and in particular degrades the quality of soil and as such the quality and quantity of food.7 Even so, a worldwide debate centres on the threat of biofuel production to food security. This dissertation weighs both sides of the argument and concludes that the production of biofuels in the EU is necessary and national targets can be accomplished ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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