Biofuel obsession wrecks African communities


Communities wrecked

Biofuels – just the latest in the long line of green mirages, which, like all the others, disappears the closer you inspect it. Driven by the madness of climate change zealots who are hectoring and badgering us to abandon cheap coal and oil to “save the planet”, biofuels succeed in only two things – depriving already poor communities of their livelihoods and the world of its precious food resources.

As The Guardian reports:

“The collapse of Sun Biofuels has left hundreds of Tanzanians landless, jobless, and in despair for the future

People feel this is like the return of colonialism,” says Athumani Mkambala, chairman of Mhaga village in rural Tanzania. “Colonialism in the form of investment.”

A quarter of the village’s land in Kisarawe district was acquired by a British biofuels company in 2008, with the promise of financial compensation, 700 jobs, water wells, improved schools, health clinics and roads. But the company has gone bust, leaving villagers not just jobless but landless as well. The same story is playing out across Africa, as foreign investors buy up land but leave some of the poorest people on Earth worse off when their plans fail.

The tale of London-based Sun Biofuels’s misadventure in Kisarawe links the broken hopes of the villagers to offshore tax havens and mysterious new owners, tracked down by the Observer, and ultimately to petrol pumps in the UK and across Europe. The final link results from the mandatory blending of biofuels into European petrol and diesel. The aim is to reduce carbon emissions, but many say biofuels actually increase pollution. The G20 meeting next week will discuss the issue, following a stark report it received in June from the World Bank, World Trade Organisation, UN and others calling for biofuels subsidies to be abandoned.

“The situation in Kisarawe is heartbreaking, but the real tragedy is that it is far from unique. Communities across Africa and beyond are losing their land as a result of the massive biofuel targets set by our government,” said Josie Cohen at development group ActionAid, which works in Kisarawe. “Like it or not, everyone who drives a car or catches a bus is involved in this problem, as all UK petrol and diesel is mixed with biofuels.”

Utterly scandalous, but just par for the course in this wonderful new “green economy”.

Read it here.

(h/t: CL-F)

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