The EU's reputation for clean and sustainable energy conceals a dirtier reality, particularly where renewable energy policies and development are driven by corporate interests. Today, nearly two thirds of all “renewable” energy in the EU comes from bio-energy. Although bio-energy appears to provide a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, there are serious questions about its actual emissions profile, and about environmental and social conflicts which are created or exacerbated by the industrial-scale production of biomass to meet European energy needs.
The European Union’s approach to bioenergy is shaped by contradictory policies. Climate concerns are highlighted in public discourse and assure broad public support for renewable energy, including bioenergy. Meanwhile, however, the EU’s corporate growth and trade agenda promotes the use of energy that actually increases the EU’s footprint on land elsewhere, with significant implications for environmental and social justice.
The BRICS Initiative (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) for Critical Agrarian Studies (BICAS) is collaborating with several initiatives and institutions to hold an international conference with emphasis on agrarian change inside and outside BRICS countries in the context of global flows of capital, labor and agro-commodities from October 24-26 at China Agricultural University, Beijing. The deadline for abstracts is June 15, 2016
As Brazil and China become the world’s leading exporter and importer of soybeans respectively, Chinese companies have sought investments in Brazil to wrest greater control over the flows and profits of the international soybean trade from North Atlantic-based transnational companies. While some promote these as positive “South-South cooperation”, many others condemn them as neocolonial “land grabs” that displace peasants, cause environmental degradation, and deindustrialize the Brazilian economy.
Maria Luisa Mendonça, Fabio T. Pitta, Carlos Vinicius Xavier
18 July 2013
An examination of ethanol production in Brazil, highlighting the role of financial capital, the territorial expansion of agribusiness and the impacts on labour relations and indigenous peoples and peasant farmers.
Jennifer Franco, Danny Carranza, Joann Fernandez (Rightsnet)
07 October 2011
A Philippines biofuel project would appear to fit the World Bank's definition of a "win-win" scenario with its promise of jobs and conversion of 'idle land'. However a closer look unveils corporate manipulation, political corruption and exploitation of subsistence farmers that typically accompanies so-called "responsible investment"