“People feel this is like the return of colonialism” or, why biofuels make me cry

The UNFCCC negotiations in Durban are looking increasingly bleek, especially from a Canadian perspective. The Guardian has a new story and video out with more upsetting news about the push for biofuels and the implications this has for communities where they are grown.

UK firm’s failed biofuel dream wrecks lives of Tanzania villagers: The collapse of Sun Biofuels has left hundreds of Tanzanians landless, jobless, and in despair for the future

The tale of London-based Sun Biofuels’s misadventure in Kisarawe links the broken hopes of the villagers to offshore tax havens and mysterious new owners, tracked down by the Observer, and ultimately to petrol pumps in the UK and across Europe. The final link results from the mandatory blending of biofuels into European petrol and diesel. The aim is to reduce carbon emissions, but many say biofuels actually increase pollution. The G20 meeting next week will discuss the issue, following a stark report it received in June from the World Bank, World Trade Organisation, UN and others calling for biofuels subsidies to be abandoned.


“The situation in Kisarawe is heartbreaking, but the real tragedy is that it is far from unique. Communities across Africa and beyond are losing their land as a result of the massive biofuel targets set by our government,” said Josie Cohen at development group ActionAid, which works in Kisarawe. “Like it or not, everyone who drives a car or catches a bus is involved in this problem, as all UK petrol and diesel is mixed with biofuels.”

One thought on ““People feel this is like the return of colonialism” or, why biofuels make me cry

  1. This is undoubtedly valuable post.. Very many thanks. I’d rate it 10 out of 10 for sure.
    Thank you for describing the situation in Kirasawe as well, very interesting!

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