Published on April 7, 2008
Slide2: Agrofuels …driving climate change ( a systemic view ) Outline: Outline Two Converging Imperatives: Peak Oil and Climate Change The Agro-Biofuels Solution Three Impacts: Food, Forests, Climate Slide6: An IPCC proposal for stabilising CO2: the Pascala and Socolow wedges. Each wedge saves 25 billion tonnes of emissions between now and 2050. Billions of tonnes of Carbon emitted per year Historical emissions Currently projected path 7 wedges 1955 2005 2055 2105 Replacing Oil with Biofuels: Replacing Oil with Biofuels Bioethanol, Biobutanol, Biodiesel 1 Wedge = 24m barrels/day of bioethanol replacing gasoline by 2055 Requires 250m Ha of high yield plantation Or 1/6 of global cropland = land mass of India NREL Fuel = Food : Fuel = Food Mexicans taking to the streets as ethanol makes their staple food unaffordable A Declaration by Latin American NGOs:: A Declaration by Latin American NGOs: “We want food sovereignty, not biofuels… While Europeans maintain their lifestyle based on automobile culture, the population of Southern countries will have less and less land for food crops and will loose its food sovereignty… We are therefore appealing to the governments and people of the European Union countries to seek solutions that do not worsen the already dramatic social and environmental situation of the peoples of Latin America, Asia and Africa.” Army repression against peasants protesting against soya plantations : Army repression against peasants protesting against soya plantations The human cost of biofuel monocultures: pesticide poisoning in Paraguay: The human cost of biofuel monocultures: pesticide poisoning in Paraguay Slide13: Landless People’s Camp in Front of Large Industrial Agriculture Estate, Upper Parana Slide14: The camp is set on fire Slide15: Expulsion in Tekojoja, December 2004. Soya producers destroyed the local community’s fields Slide16: Soya monocultures are a green desert around the remaining small islands of forest, Soya Toledo, Nina Holland. Sawit Watch Challenges Land Grab: Sawit Watch Challenges Land Grab “Palm oil for biofuels increases social conflicts and undermines land reform in Indonesia… It is unavoidable that, as a consequence of Europe's biofuels policy, the land rights of indigenous peoples and local communities will be relinquished further, and that food security will be undermined and lands for agricultural purposes and subsistence livelihoods will diminish.” Slide18: Indigenous Penan people trying to stop industrial loggers from destroying their forest Logging and palm oil expansion go hand in hand : Logging and palm oil expansion go hand in hand Burning the rainforest to clear land for palm oil : Burning the rainforest to clear land for palm oil South-east Asia’s peatlands hold up to 50 billion tonnes of carbon : South-east Asia’s peatlands hold up to 50 billion tonnes of carbon Draining Borneo’s peat for plantations: Draining Borneo’s peat for plantations Borneo ablaze: Annual peat fires pump billions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere : Borneo ablaze: Annual peat fires pump billions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere As ethanol pushes up the price of sugar cane, this rainforest in Uganda is to be sacrificed for sugar plantations : As ethanol pushes up the price of sugar cane, this rainforest in Uganda is to be sacrificed for sugar plantations Protest against land grab: FoE Nigeria: Protest against land grab: FoE Nigeria “It is a push by industry to make another scramble for Africa, grab the land and continue with business as usual. The industrial bio-energy push to increased bio-energy demand will be nothing other than an effort at extending the frontiers of neo-colonialism in its continued march on the back of the fabled market forces.” NASA: Rate of Amazon destruction correlates with market price of Soya: In the past few months, the price of soya has started rising again, thanks to biofuels. And the Amazon is being cut down faster than before. Amazon rainforest destroyed for soya NASA: Rate of Amazon destruction correlates with market price of Soya Burning the rainforest to clear land for soya plantations: Burning the rainforest to clear land for soya plantations Slide28: Dry season fires are widespread along margin of Amazon. Fingers of cleared land typically form a “herringbone” pattern as they extend from roads Agro-Biofuels in the EU : Agro-Biofuels in the EU Germany is at capacity using 12% of arable land to achieve 1% transport fuel penetration Oil Seed Rape: clover/alfalfa – Red Kyte, Ortolan Bunting 60% Wetlands lost in N & W Europe 45% Butterflies 30% Reptiles Birds, Insects, Wildflowers EU Biodiversity Loss target (2010) EU Abolish Compulsory Set-asides from 2008 Rapeseed oil, Sugar Beet. Animal feed displaced to Argentina, Colombia, Brazil GM Agrofuels: GM Agrofuels Plant Genomes Microbes Potentially significant micro-lifecycle gains but 5–10 yrs away Bottom Line: Micro vs. Macro Lifecycle Irony of Agrofuels: Irony of Agrofuels 40% increase in fuel efficiency via Hybridisation 10 – 20% through weight reduction 20 – 40% through smaller engines built for economy 10% through aerodynamics and low friction tyres 30% efficiency by reduced travel speeds, careful driving, correct tyre pressures, clean engine oil etc TOTAL = 110-140% efficiency = ½-¼ fuel = 13m barrels / day Pascala & Socolow achieve 24m b/d bioethanol = 17m b/d gas. Climate Critical Data: Climate Critical Data Gaia and non-linearity Currently: 383ppm CO2 450 ppm CO2e gives 30-60% risk of 2+C …Climate Tipping Point State of Play : State of Play RTFO Biofuels Plan – 5% EU Biofuels Plan – 5.75% / 10% US Renewable Fuels Standard – 20% China vast acerage planned India following suit Mitigation: EU Fuels Standards Quality Dir Certification = False Legitimisation … because macro-impacts cannot included Macro-Climate Impacts of Agrofuels: Macro-Climate Impacts of Agrofuels Land use change – deforestation Land Use Change – peat and soils Chemical Fertilisers – N2O emissions Acceleration of climate feedbacks Monbiot: 5-year freeze on Agro-Biofuel targets: Monbiot: 5-year freeze on Agro-Biofuel targets FoE Paraguay and Argentinian NGO’s calling for moratorium 250 NGO’s and prominent individuals calling for a halt on all biofuel targets Certification cannot deal with macro-climate impacts or displacement - wrong policy instrument Conclusion
Agrofuels …driving climate change ( a systemic view ) Outline Two Converging Imperatives: Peak Oil and Climate Change The Agro-Biofuels Solution Three ...