U.S.-based coalition calls for a moratorium on U.S. incentives for biofuels
December 17, 2007
Contact: Eric Holt-Gimenez
510-654-4400 ext 227
A coalition of U.S organizations is calling for an Immediate Moratorium on U.S. incentives for agrofuels, U.S. agroenergy monocultures and global trade in agrofuels. The Coalition is asking your organization to help strengthen the Call by signing on.
The Call comes as the United States Congress is on the verge of passing the Energy Independence and Security Act with strong bi-partisan support in both the House and Senate to mandate the use of 36 billion gallons of agrofuels per year by 2022—a five-fold increase over present levels.
Establishing such a dramatically expanded mandate makes it inevitable that a significant portion of the agrofuel requirement will be met with imported sources such as palm oil from Southeast Asia and Latin America, especially sugarcane ethanol and soy biodiesel from Brazil. The Coalition believes that if the US seeks to transfer its dependency on foreign oil to a dependency on foreign agrofuels, US energy independence and security will not improve. Rather, conflicts in these areas will increase as agribusiness expands its control over land and markets in the South, driven largely by U.S. consumption.
Evidence shows that agrofuels cause deforestation and environmental damage, worsen global warming, and seriously threaten food, land and other human rights of indigenous and traditional communities, the rural poor, and exacerbate land and labor conflicts. The recent murder of Vía Campesina member Valmir Mota de Oliveira at Syngenta Seeds’ illegal experimental camp for genetically-modified crops, in the state of Paraná, Brazil, is just one example of the violence being provoked by the growing hegemony of agribusiness in the South.
At the pinnacle of this hegemony are the U.S. Big Grain giants Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge and Cargill, which, in 2004, were responsible for about 60% of the total financing of soy production in Brazil. In reality, further development of the agrofuels industry will only benefit large multinational corporations and their shareholders in the Global North.
It is imperative that the Call for an Immediate Moratorium on U.S. incentives for agrofuels is heard.
Sign up here
Please also forward and circulate this message.
Initial signatories include:
Family Farm Defenders
Global Justice Ecology Project
Rainforest Action Network
Student Trade Justice Coalition