Agrofuels Are Not Low Carbon

Written by Jennifer Krill

Topics: Agribusiness, Finance, Oil

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Evidence is mounting about the social and environmental consequences of industrialized biofuels, aka agrofuels. A new paper from RAN concludes that we cannot grow our way out of our oil addiction. Because of agrofuels’ impacts on climate change, direct and indirect land use impacts, fossil fuel inputs, and the investments they may draw away from real solutions, agrofuels will not solve the twin crises of climate change and our dependence on oil.

The report also finds that if we don’t take action to rein in the rapid global expansion of agrofuels we will in fact be making these problems worse. Particularly when expanding in rainforest regions, the carbon debt accumulated by agrofuels will take decades or sometimes centuries to pay back.

April 2009: Activists protest agrofuels in California

April 2009: Activists protest agrofuels in California

RAN’s recommendation: rather than continuing to pursue agrofuels policies and increasing the global market place for agrofuels, we call on decision makers in the corporate and political arenas to prioritize proven, true solutions that halt the expansion of carbon-intensive industries. Policies and investments that support mass transit, bike transit, and plug in vehicles recharged by a green grid are far more efficient and cost effective means to reduce our dependence on oil. Agrofuels are not low carbon, and we can’t afford to lose any more time pursuing false solutions. It’s time for a real transportation revolution.

Read the full report at: http://ran.org/fileadmin/materials/comms/mediacontent/reports/Agrofuels_White_Paper.pdf

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