DTE urges MEPs to consider people and planet in crucial agrofuels vote

The following letter was sent to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) who are members of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI Committee). For background see our agrofuels and oil palm plantations campaign page.

July 9th, 2013

Dear ENVI Committee Members,

Subject: Your ENVI vote: ILUC matters for people & planet

I understand that as a member of the ENVI Committee, your vote on the European Commission's RED/agrofuels policy amendments is imminent. Your vote will be vital for ensuring that the policies deliver on their primary goal to mitigate climate change while avoiding irreversible damage to people and the environment in the longer term.

ILUC is a critical issue, which not only aggravates climate change globally, but drives forest and biodiversity loss, land-grabs and conflicts, food crises and human rights abuses in producer countries such as Indonesia. Through our work with Civil Society Organisations in Indonesia, Down to Earth (DTE) has evidenced the devastating impacts of 'top-down', large-scale plantation expansion on the local environment and communites, plantation smallholders and their families.[1]

In considering your decision we would like to remind you of the 9th Conference of the Parties to the CBD, decision IX/2 [2] which stresses the “…application of the precautionary approach in accordance with the preamble of the Convention on Biological Diversity” to “minimize the negative impacts on biodiversity that would affect socio-economic conditions and food and energy security” from agrofuel production, including “the livelihoods of indigenous and local communities”. Under the Precautionary Principle the burden of proof that agrofuels are not harmful falls on the EU and its decision makers.

In your vote on 10th July, DTE urges you prioritise the wellbeing of  people and the environment by voting to set a cap on food-based biofuels below 5%, to replace post-2020 volume targets with a greenhouse gas target and for the introduction of ILUC factors.

Yours Sincerely,

Clare McVeigh
DTE Agrofuels Campaigner
Down to Earth
DTE works with partners in Indonesia and internationally to promote climate justice and sustainable livelihoods in Indonesia

[1] See, for example,
http://www.downtoearth-indonesia.org/story/100-years-oil-palm and other material on our agrofuels and oil palm plantations campaign page.

[2] See http://www.cbd.int/decision/cop/default.shtml?id=11645