Biofuels cartoon

Biofuels should fight climate change, not serve capital

by Aris Telonis

Sustainability means a healthy balance in producing goods without over-farming the environment. Clearly, our societies’ dependencies on petroleum are not sustainable: the rate of natural production is practically zero when compared to the rate at which we pump it out of the ground — not to mention the catastrophic effects on the environment felt across the globe.
One familiar alternative is fuel from biomass, or biofuel. Although carbon biofuels do little to reduce overall levels of carbon emissions, policies that promote their use can drive the shift away carbon and improve sustainability.
But is the EU willing to do what it takes?
The year 2020 is set as a milestone: by then, 10% of transport fuel should come from renewable sources, including biofuels. Ideally, this should motivate fuel companies to fund research for environment-friendly alternatives. But this goal was set in 2008, at the peak of biofuel industry. Since then, it has been shown, innovation in biofuels has slowed to a crawl, and the usual suspects in the petroleum industry are celebrating.
In the energy sector, the heart of capitalism continues to beat: concentrating power and profit in a handful of multinationals. Meanwhile, our democracy continues to fail: with controversial subsidies, undemocratic political decisions and very little progress in addressing the actual long-term problems on policy implementation.
At DiEM25, we fight for large-scale investments in green technologies not only to boost European technologies, but also to fight climate change. And we demand transparency and democracy in addressing these challenges: Decision-making on this crucial issue should be open to the public and be driven by sound science, not by profit. Our planet cannot stand another decade of extractive profiteering under the cover of biofuels and renewable energy. Become a DiEM25 member and join our thematic collectives to take our fight to the European establishment.
 
Aris is a member and volunteer of the DiEM25 movement.
 

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