Wednesday, November 30, 2016

[biofuelwatch] Gov Accounting Office says renewable fuel standard set to fail | Washington Examiner [3 Attachments]







By   11/28/16 6:47 PM

The Environmental Protection Agency's renewable fuel program is bound to fail over the next five years, a federal watchdog agency said Monday, citing the low cost of oil and the relatively high cost of green fuels.

The Government Accountability Office released two reports showing that the EPA's Renewable Fuel Standard will not reach its 2022 production target of blending 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel per year into the nation's fuel supply, while failing to achieve its greenhouse gas emission reductions.

Greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels are blamed by many scientists for causing the Earth's temperature to rise.

"It is unlikely that the goals of the RFS will be met as envisioned because there is limited production of advanced biofuels to be blended into domestic transportation fuels and limited potential for expanded production by 2022," one of the two GAO reports said.

Stay abreast of the latest developments from nation's capital and beyond with curated News Alerts from the Washington Examiner news desk and delivered to your inbox.

The reports showed that advanced biofuels are the primary sticking point. Under the program, the fuels are expected to comprise nearly half of the total 2022 target. The fuels are also mandated to be lower in carbon pollution than more conventional biofuels such as corn ethanol. But without adequate production, the climate change benefits of the program have been lower than expected.

"In the absence of advanced biofuels, most of the biofuel blended under the RFS to date has been conventional corn-starch ethanol, which achieves smaller greenhouse gas emission reductions compared with advanced biofuels," the report focused on emissions said.

The second report, focused solely on advanced biofuel production, showed the fuels will fall short of their production targets.

"Among the factors that will affect the speed and volume of production, experts cited the low price of fossil fuels relative to advanced biofuels," the report said. "This disparity in costs is a disincentive for consumers to adopt greater use of biofuels and also a deterrent for private investors entering the advanced biofuels market."

The report said that increased "uncertainty" about the fuel program and federal subsidies for advanced biofuels is also a deterrent to higher production.

Also from the Washington Examiner

"While such policies should encourage investment, investors do not see them as reliable and thus discount their potential benefits when considering whether to invest," the report said.

Top Story




__._,_.___
View attachments on the web

Posted by: Rachel Smolker <rsmolker@riseup.net>



__,_._,___

My Privacy...

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

[biofuelwatch] Field Liberation Movement Takes Action Against GE Trees in Belgium





http://stopgetrees.org/field-liberation-movement-takes-action-ge-trees-belgium/?utm_content=buffere0431&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Field Liberation Movement Takes Action Against GE Trees in Belgium

field-liberation


Via Field Liberation:

 

BELGIUM – At the end of the climate summit in Marrakesh, 20 activists from theField Liberation Movement planted a "permit to cut" in a field of GMO poplar trees belonging to the Flemish Institute of Biotechnology. The permit was given symbolically to Joke Schauvliege, the Flemish Minister responsible for climate policy. The central message is to stop false solutions for the climate crisis, and to direct research to real solutions for the current climate and energy challenges.

The Minister became infamous for a statement regarding forest management: "Trees have always had the function to be cut". With this in mind, activists are encouraging her to cut this particular field of GMO trees.

The Flemish Institute of Biotechnology is hoping to acquire a patent for the production of agrofuels from GMO trees, and is promoting that as an alternative to fossil fuels. The genetic manipulation that has been carried out on these trees makes them weaker, increasing potentially the yield of ethanol. Instead of tackling the causes of climate change, investments are being made in false solutions that create a social and environmental problems.

Energy production from biomass risks shifting the burden of providing energy for the West onto other parts of the world. Commercial plantations for agrofuels would not be grown in Belgium, and so the government is investing in a hypothetical technology that promotes land-grabbing, conflicts over water and competition for land between food and energy crops. Not only is biodiversity threatened through the implanting of large-scale monocultures, it is also impossible to control the risk of GMO contamination in such large-scale production.

The field trial is being conducted by the Flemish Institute of Biotechnology (VIB), a research institute which receives funding from the Flemish government, the European Union and multinationals such as BASF, Syngenta and Bayer. These companies are on the board of the VIB and help to determine the research agenda that pays no attention to research on the causes of the climate crisis, or local and decentralized solutions.

The Field Liberation Movement demands that the VIB develops a research programme that pioneers sustainable technology, to serve the public interest.

Field Liberator Elke Paret: "Joke, if there is one forest that must be cut in Flanders, then it's the Poplars in Wetteren. It presents a grave danger for biodiversity, and is a waste of taxpayer's money."

The Field Liberation Movement stands in solidarity with the international movement against monoculture tree plantations.




__._,_.___

Posted by: almuth@ernsting.wanadoo.co.uk



__,_._,___

My Privacy...

Monday, November 21, 2016

[biofuelwatch] Declaration: Our land is worth more than carbon





http://globalforestcoalition.org/land-is-worth-more-than-carbon/


Our land is worth more than carbon

The Paris Agreement required the 196 Parties to the UN Climate Convention to limit temperature increases to 2° or 1.5°C below preindustrial levels. While COP21 benefitted from a high degree of mobilization linked to the adoption of an international agreement, COP 22 on the other hand has received rather less attention. Yet the stakes remain significant. In its haste, COP 22, being called the "action COP" or the "agriculture COP", is in danger of adopting various misguided solutions for agriculture. Last May at the Climate Convention HQ in Bonn, discussion on this sector was a source of tension between countries. They studiously avoided the key question of differentiating between agricultural models according to their impact on climate change and their ability to provide food sovereignty to people. At the same time, and outside official negotiating channels, voluntary initiatives, especially in the private sector, have expanded and may well become incorporated in countries' future public policies.

Although 94% of countries mention agriculture in their strategies for combating climate change, the Paris Agreement fails to mention the word "agriculture" even once. You have to read between the lines to understand what is really at stake. It is really the highly political subject of agriculture that hides behind the use of the expression "carbon sink". It is true that the soil plays an important role in sequestering CO2 (carbon dioxide), turning it into a genuine "carbon sink", like forests. Yet that is not soil's only role, particularly if farming land that is central to food sovereignty is involved. Unfortunately its use (employing the expression "land use") in combating climate change represents a huge opportunity currently for those promoting misguided solutions and serves as an excuse for public inaction.

In searching for a balance between emissions and absorption by greenhouse gas sinks, the Paris Agreement enshrined the principle of compensation in dealing with the climate crisis. This notion does not mean that emissions actually have to decrease but that emissions and absorption can cancel each other out. This approach has already begun with forests through the highly controversial REDD+ mechanism and, to an increasing degree, is now targeting farming land, the new carbon Eldorado. We must remember that unlike avoided emissions, natural carbon sequestration is reversible and has a limited lifetime. So rather than attempting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions drastically, agriculture is becoming a unit of accounting permitting emissions to continue or even increase. Consequently, though roundly condemned by civil society and social movements, various initiatives have arisen around climate discussions that appear to many to be misguided solutions. This is the case with climate-smart agriculture and its global alliance (GACSA) which, in the absence of clear criteria, does a balancing act between promoting agroecology and the use of GM seeds and their herbicides. Moreover, 60% of GACSA's private sector members are companies in the pesticide and agricultural input sector. This alliance and its concept are nothing more than an empty shell that agro-industrial multinationals can hide in to continue the industrialization of agriculture, to the detriment of smallholders. Similarly the 4 per 1000 initiative fails to make clear choices in promoting transition in farming systems. Its scattergun approach to the problem fails to take account of considerations beyond carbon sequestration such as the use of herbicides for example. Unless there is a real re-examination of agro-industrial models that are highly dependent on chemical inputs and based on exports, such initiatives have absolutely no place in the list of solutions.

Quite apart from the question of the agricultural model there is also the danger of pressure on land and the financialization of natural resources. Therefore by putting a value, through compensation, on farming land as a tool in combating climate change, you increase the pressure on it. So the small scale farmers who were already the first victims of climate change become doubly threatened. If we are to encourage investment in agriculture to sequester more carbon, especially from private sources, much greater expanses of land will be needed with an increased risk of land grabbing. This danger would be multiplied if the race for land were accompanied by mechanisms linked to carbon finance. Numerous studies on similar mechanisms developed for forests (like REDD+) have already demonstrated the dangers of an approach that pays scant consideration to protecting human rights. This approach to combating climate change opens the door ever wider to endangering small scale farmers' rights and their acquired knowledge, food sovereignty and ecosystem integrity.

Our organisations deprecate this rush towards compensation to tackle the climate crisis. Only immediate, drastic reduction of greenhouse gases will prevent a dramatic increase in the impact of this crisis even though it will still only limit it. Farming land cannot become an accounting tool for managing the climate crisis. It is fundamental to around a billion people in the world who are working towards food sovereignty, an inalienable right of people who have already been harmed enough. We support the continued existence of agriculture suited to meeting the agricultural challenges already magnified by the climate crisis. Such farming methods, based on peasant agroecology which, in addition to a store of good practice, imply socially- and ecologically-based farming rooted in its home territory and a rejection of the financialization of Nature.

===============

350.org
Action Aid-France
Action contre la faim (France)
AEFJN (Africa Europe Faith & Justice Network)
Alternatives-Canada
Attac-France
Ara (Germany)
Asia Pacific Network for Food Sovereignty
Asian Peoples' Movement on Debt and Development
Biofuelwatch (UK/US)
Broederlijk Delen (Belgium)
CADTM-Belgique
CCFD – Terre Solidaire (France)
CEC (Center for Environmental Concerns – Philippines)
CIDSE
CISV Onlus (Italia)
CNCD-11.11.11 (Belgium)
COAG (Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Agricultores y Ganaderos – Spain)
Community Alliance for Global Justice (USA)
CONAVIGUA (Guatemala)
Confédération paysanne (France)
Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)
Développement et Paix – Caritas Canada
Ecologistas en Accion (Spain)
EcoNexus
ECVC (European Coordination Via Campesina)
Fairwatch (Italy)
FERN
Finance & Trade Watch (Austria)
FNSA (Fédération Nationale du Secteur Agricole – Maroc)
FOCSIV (Federazione Organismi Cristiani Servizio Internazionale Volontario – Italia)
Food Sovereignty Ghana
FNH (Fondation Nicolas Hulot pour la Nature et l'Homme – France)
FUGEA (Belgium)
Global Forest Coalition
Grassroots Global Justice (USA)
La Via Campesina
Leave it in the Ground Initiative (LINGO)
Les Amis de la Terre (France)
Un million de femmes rurales (Tunisia)
Misereor (Germany)
Mouvement d'action paysanne (Belgium)
NordBruk (Sweden)
North South Initiative (Malaysia)
Oxfam-France
Oxfam-Solidarity (Belgium)
Philippine Movement for Climate Justice
Sindicato Labrego Galego (Spain)
Society for International Development (SID)
Solidaires (France)
SONIA for a Just New World (Italy)
Sri-Lanka Nature's Group (SLNG)
Tamil Nadu Land Rights Federation (TNLRF – India)
The Corner House (UK)
Transnational Institute (Netherlands)
Ts'unel Bej – Sembrando Camino (Mexico)
World Rainforest Movement
Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan (Indonesia)




__._,_.___

Posted by: almuth@ernsting.wanadoo.co.uk



__,_._,___

My Privacy...

Friday, November 4, 2016

Re: [biofuelwatch] Video: Pension funds fuel land grabs in Brazil





Is the TIAA-CREF situation ongoing, after a judge had put a stop to it?

https://grassrootsonline.org/blog/court-stops-massive-land-grab-in-brazil-rules-against-tiaa-cref-and-foreign-investors/

                                                                       Aryt


On Nov 3, 2016 5:09 AM, "almuth@ernsting.wanadoo.co.uk [biofuelwatch]" <biofuelwatch-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
 

https://www.grain.org/article/entries/5575-pension-funds-fuel-land-grabs-in-brazil


New from GRAIN | 3 November 2016

Video: Pension funds fuel land grabs in Brazil

Could your pension be pushing small farmers off their land?

A new animated video released today explains how pension funds from Europe and North America are involved in land grabs in Brazil. The video shows how a global farmland fund, managed by US financial giant TIAA-CREF, used a complex company structure to avoid restrictions on foreign investment in farmland. It then acquired lands from a Brazilian businessman who has used violence and fraud to grab large areas of farmland from small farmers and indigenous peoples in the Brazilian states of Maranhão and Piauí.

The video aims to pressure pension funds to publicly disclose the names and the locations of the farmlands they have acquired across the world and to stop speculating on farmland.

If you have a pension, contact your pension manager to say you do not want your savings contributing to land grabs and farmland speculation!

View the video: https://www.grain.org/e/5575

Produced by: Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos, GRAIN, Inter Pares and Solidarity Sweden – Latin America

Help us spread the word!

Suggested tweets:





__._,_.___

Posted by: aryt alasti <aryt.alasti@gmail.com>



__,_._,___

My Privacy...

Thursday, November 3, 2016

[biofuelwatch] Land conflicts and shady finances plague DR Congo palm oil company backed by development funds





Land conflicts and shady finances plague DR Congo palm oil company backed by development funds 

RIAO-RDC, AEFJN, Entraide et Fraternité, GRAIN, SOS Faim, UMOYA, urgewald, War on Want and WRM | 02 November 2016 | Reports

 

European and US development funds are bankrolling palm oil company Feronia Inc despite land and labour conflicts at its plantations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). New information now raises questions as to whether the Canadian-based company misused millions of taxpayer dollars destined for international aid by way of companies connected to a high-level DRC politician....[Read more at https://www.grain.org/article/entries/5564-land-conflicts-and-shady-finances-plague-dr-congo-palm-oil-company-backed-by-development-funds]


GRAIN — Land conflicts and shady finances plague DR Congo palm oil company backed by development funds 




__._,_.___

Posted by: almuth@ernsting.wanadoo.co.uk



__,_._,___

My Privacy...

[biofuelwatch] Video: Pension funds fuel land grabs in Brazil





https://www.grain.org/article/entries/5575-pension-funds-fuel-land-grabs-in-brazil


New from GRAIN | 3 November 2016

Video: Pension funds fuel land grabs in Brazil

Could your pension be pushing small farmers off their land?

A new animated video released today explains how pension funds from Europe and North America are involved in land grabs in Brazil. The video shows how a global farmland fund, managed by US financial giant TIAA-CREF, used a complex company structure to avoid restrictions on foreign investment in farmland. It then acquired lands from a Brazilian businessman who has used violence and fraud to grab large areas of farmland from small farmers and indigenous peoples in the Brazilian states of Maranhão and Piauí.

The video aims to pressure pension funds to publicly disclose the names and the locations of the farmlands they have acquired across the world and to stop speculating on farmland.

If you have a pension, contact your pension manager to say you do not want your savings contributing to land grabs and farmland speculation!

View the video: https://www.grain.org/e/5575

Produced by: Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos, GRAIN, Inter Pares and Solidarity Sweden – Latin America

Help us spread the word!

Suggested tweets:





__._,_.___

Posted by: almuth@ernsting.wanadoo.co.uk



__,_._,___

My Privacy...
Newer Posts Older Posts Home