There is overwhelming evidence of the harm caused by the European Union’s current bioenergy policy to people in developing countries, to the climate and to Europe’s own sustainable development. The policy is on a collision course with the Paris climate agreement and the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
This briefing follows the trail of destruction left by the policy on three continents. It assesses the extraordinary lobbying ‘firepower’ and powerful network of influence at the disposal of the European biofuel industry and its allies, which is blocking reform. In the past year alone, actors in the biofuel value chain – from feedstock growers to biofuel producers – spent over €14m and hired nearly 400 lobbyists. Biofuel producers spend as much on EU influencing as the tobacco lobby. EU decision makers must free themselves from the stranglehold of powerful corporate groups – and choose genuinely sustainable and renewable energy to meet their 2030 climate and energy goals.
New estimates show that just eight men own the same wealth as the poorest half of the world. As growth benefits the richest, the rest of society – especially the poorest – suffers. The very design of our economies and the principles of our economics have taken us to this extreme, unsustainable and unjust point. Our economy must stop excessively rewarding those at the top and start working for all people. Accountable and visionary governments, businesses that work in the interests of workers and producers, a valued environment, women’s rights and a strong system of fair taxation, are central to this more human economy. The sources and methodology behind the headline facts in this paper are explained in the separate methodology note.
Published on Jan 17, 2017
Bernie Sanders speaks at the 49th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Service at Ebenezer Baptist Church (where King was pastor and preached) in Atlanta.