Never one to speak out before it’s too late, Alastair Darling, England’s beloved Chancellor, has asked the World Bank to produce an analysis on the impact of green policies, including the likes of biofuels, on global food shortages to be presented to the G7 leaders in June.
All this at in the same week as new rules come into force in Britain which will see 2.5 percent biofuels added to petrol, with the biofuels mix hitting 5 percent by 2010.
With the government having passed a biofuels mandate, Darling is calling for an urgent review of international biofuels programmes following violent demonstrations in many of the world’s poorest nations against the rising cost of wheat, corn, rice and soya, according to The Guardian.
The blame for this rise is being laid at the feet of the biofuels industry. To counter the cost hike, World Bank president Robert Zoellick has urged wealthy countries who subsidise biofuels to chip in $500 million for emergency food aid for the world’s hungry.
The paper quotes our Darling as saying:
“This is an urgent problem. People across the world will say, “Why didn’t you see this coming?” when it is staring us in the face. We have got to take action.”
“It would be a profound mistake if we get into a situation where we are growing corn that is essential for feeding people and converting it into fuel. That is not sustainable.”
Excellent timing Mr Darling.