“We are threatened with the greatest famine”
Minister of Development for the end of biofuels
08/05/2022, 11:50 a.m.
The use of biofuels is supposed to protect the environment and reduce CO2 emissions. But in the meantime, the fuel for the factories is very controversial – mainly due to rising prices due to the war in Ukraine. Development Minister Schulze warns of fatal consequences.
Federal Development Minister Svenja Schulze of the SPD has called for an end to the use of food and feed crops for the production of biofuels. The reason for this is the dramatic increase in food prices around the world, including the war in Ukraine, Schulze told “Bild am Sonntag”.
“The bitter message is that we are facing the worst famine since World War II, with millions dying.” In this context, wheat, palm oil, rapeseed or maize should no longer be used for fuel production, said Schulze – not only in Germany but internationally.
The use of biofuels is also enormous: “In Germany, we pour 2.7 billion liters of fuel based on vegetable oils into the tanks of cars every year. This corresponds to almost half of the oil harvest sunflower in Ukraine”, criticized the minister and pointed out: “Nobody wants to be responsible for feeding hunger in the world. We have to stop putting food in the tank.”
Biofuel – not only good for the environment
At the end of April, Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke of the Green Party announced in “Augsburger Allgemeine” that she wanted to reduce the use of biofuels. Accordingly, consultations are currently underway with the Agriculture Department of Cem Özdemir of the Greens. The industry had criticized this decision. Biofuel production is already limited due to high agricultural prices, so the market has already reacted, according to the Association of the German Biofuel Industry (VDB).
In Germany, approximately 7% of every liter of diesel consists of biofuels. In the case of gasoline engines, this is 5-10% blended biofuel. Cereals and sugar beets in particular are used for this. Biofuels were originally intended to protect the climate and reduce CO2 emissions from car exhaust. However, the industrialized cultivation of biofuels consumes arable land on which food could otherwise grow and, in some cases, destroys fertile soils. In the worst case, the country could turn into a desert zone, warns the WWF.