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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Vers 600 millions d’affamés de plus dans les pays du Sud

by Gérard LE PUILL

Heading to 600 Million More Hungry People in the South

Humans and the Earth. The Earth on the move

Translated Tuesday 6 April 2010, by Jonathan Pierrel and reviewed by Henry Crapo

On March 31, a public demonstration gathered on the Champ-de-Mars in Paris to protest against the massive production of biofuels that are produced in the South and consumed in the North. According to Antoine Bouhey, the official representative of Peuple Solidaires: “by 2020, there will be 600 million more people on top of the 1 billion who presently suffer from hunger if the current projects materialize.”

The European Union is deeply involved in this issue. By 2020, the EU aims to get rom biofuels half of the 20% of renewable energy that EU members promised they would use. However, with the support of the EU commission, European countries intend to externalize the bulk of the production in Africa, Asia, and in South America. This would also externalize CO2 emissions attributable to the production of this renewable energy.

While biofuels were held responsible for a 30% increase in cereal prices in 2007-2008, the world production of biofuels could take a leap from 700 billion liters in 2008 to 250 billion in 2020. The consumption of biofuels in the EU could increase from 13 to 55 billion liters.

Competing with food-producing crops, policies promoting biofuel development by international companies have the support of some leaders of the South. Those policies are deceiving and despoil peasants in poor countries. This leads to monocrops. mechanized and polluting, through changes in land usage. These policies create only very little employment and cause the despoiled people to move towards urban areas. That is the reason why Peuples Solidaires asks for a “moratorium on all new production expansions, on production, and on investments related to industrial biofuels.”

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