Biofuels boom in Africa
James Smith comments in the Guardian on UK private investment in biofuels
The Guardian revealed a controversial number of land acquisitions made by British firms for biofuel plantations (‘Biofuels boom in Africa as British firms lead rush on land for plantations’, 31 May 2011).
In the wake of rising food prices and hunger, and increasing greenhouse gas emissions, biofuels have emerged a possible way to help meet global energy needs in an environmentally sustainable way.
However, biofuel production is controversial and raises serious ethical issues. Commenting on this issue in the Guardian, James Smith - Innogen’s Director of Developing Country Research and professor of African and Development Studies at Edinburgh University - said, "Private investment is running far ahead of our knowledge of the impacts of biofuels, such as land dispossession. This action is eroding the UK's position of enlightenment on development issues."
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