Friday, 4 March 2011

Blood for biofuel - primetime feature on land grabbing in Honduras

There was a rather disturbing report on prime time last night (3rd March) about farmers being evicted from their land to make way for palm-oil and sugar cane plantations.
You can rewatch it here Minutes 25 to 35.

The Irish Bioenergy Association has put out a response as follows:

The issues presented in the Primetime feature only serve to highlight how it is necessary to ensure the production and use of biofuels in a fully sustainable manner. The Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO – http://www.rspo.org/) is a global organisation whose objective is to promote the use of sustainable palm oil through the development of credible schemes & standards and engagement with stakeholders. Clearly, the palm oil sector in Honduras is not operating to any such like scheme.

All biofuel in Ireland must comply with strict EU sustainability criteria for biofuels. In Ireland there is a Biofuel Obligations Scheme (BOS) in place since 2010, legislating that 4% of all road fuels are biofuel. The majority of this biofuel is imported as a pre-blended mix from oil refineries – a situation which has resulted in Irish biofuel producers being effectively excluded from the market. IrBEA is calling on the incoming government to revisit its policy in relation to biofuels to ensure that producers of sustainable Irish biofuels can access this market in a fair and equitable manner. This will give a much needed boost to this potential growth sector of the economy.

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