Do biofuels pose a threat to securing the right to food?


Biofuel production has introduced a new pressure into the global food system, providing fresh competition for land and water, and playing a contributing role in the global food price volatility witnessed since 2008.

While biofuels can add value to local agriculture, the right to food can be threatened by large-scale biofuel plantations which displace food production in developed and developing countries, raising local food security concerns, and pushing agriculture into new areas – putting an additional strain on the environment and ecosystems.

The Special Rapporteur is therefore monitoring both public biofuel mandates and subsidies in the developed world, and the impacts of biofuel investment and changing land use trends in developing countries. Contributions to the EU debate on biofuel mandates were published in 2012 and 2013, building upon an expert roundtable the SR convened in November 2011.

Read Financial Times(Intl)"Biofuels: animal feed a minor factor" (20-06-2013)
Read 23/04/2013, Brussels: Note on the Impacts of the EU Biofuels Policy on the Right to Food, Statement based on letter sent to EU institutions on 16 April 2013
Read 17/10/2012: 'Agrofuels and the right to food' - Q&A from the Special Rapporteur (17 October 2012).
Read 23/05/2012, Geneva: South-East Asia / Agrofuel: UN rights experts raise alarm on land development mega-projects
Read 31/10/2011, Geneva: Key chance for G20 to tackle negative impacts of biofuels and speculation on human rights
Read 21/01/2011: "Observations on the current food price situation", Background note by the Special Rapporteur on the right to food.