Food not fuel

May 16, 2013 1:44 PM

Tom in the symbolic 'field of wheat' set up by ActionAid outside ParliamentTom Brake MP for Carshalton and Wallington joined campaigners to call for an end to converting food crops to fuel for our cars.

ActionAid has collected thousands of petition signatures from around the UK on symbolic 'grains of wheat', which were combined to create a 'field' of wheat outside the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday 14 May.

Tom said:

"Biofuels were introduced in good faith as a 'renewable' fuel. However, despite the best of intentions, there is increasing evidence that growing reliance on sustainable liquid fuels drives food prices higher."

"Growing crops to make fuel instead of food drives up global food prices, hitting those who can least afford it. When 1 in 8 on our planet goes hungry every day, plants should be grown to feed people not fuel cars."

ActionAid has been campaigning for a ban on food-based biofuels, arguing that their use drives global hunger worldwide. Turning food into fuel reduces the amount available to eat, causing global prices to rise. Policies and targets around the world are encouraging international investors to grab land cheaply in poor countries to create biofuel plantations, meaning people are forced off the land which they rely on for their food, water and livelihoods.

Furthermore, there is growing evidence that certain types of biofuel produce more greenhouse gas emissions than the fossil fuels they were designed to replace. Some scientist warn that biofuels produce more carbon emissions than they save and that increasing their use could actually make the problem of global warming worse.

The call for Food not Fuel is part of the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign, a coalition of over 180 organisations, including Action Aid, Oxfam and Christian Aid, calling for the UK and world leaders to act on hunger.

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