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GTAP Resource #3830

"Biofuel policies and the poor: an assessment of the impact of EU biofuel policies on food consumption and poverty in developing countries applying MIRAGE"
by Estrades, Carmen and David Laborde

Biofuel production has increased significantly in the last years, partly driven by developed economies policies to promote renewable energy use and reduce greenhouse emissions. In this regard, the European Union (EU) approved in 2009 the Renewable Energy Directive, which establishes a 10% target for the use of renewable energy in road transport fuels by 2020. While the evaluation of developed country policies on greenhouse emissions has been largely evaluated, the debate about the impact of biofuel production on food consumption, hunger and poverty in developing countries is more recent. Recent attention on this subject has been drawn by NGOs and international organizations, and the G20, in its ministerial declaration from June 2011, recognizes “the need to analyze all factors that influence the relationship between biofuels production and food availability” (G20, 2011).
This paper seeks to contribute to this debate, analyzing the effects of the EU biofuel policies on food security and poverty in developing countries. It assesses the overall impact of the biofuel policies on food availability and food prices, and it makes a special focus on how the feedstock crops used in the production of biofuel determines the outcomes. Indeed, as different feedstock crops are used for biofuel production, the impact on the poor may be also different. For example, in the United States (US), ethanol is mainly produced from corn, which is mainly used as feed by the livestock sector. Thus, the direct impact of an increase in the use of corn for ethanol production in this country affects both poor and rich people in different proportion and the impact on poverty is less direct. On the contrary, we might expect a higher impact of EU biofuel policies on the poor, as the main feedstock used for production are vegetable oils, which are a staple food for the poor in developing countries. This fact underlines the importance of analyzing how the different feedstock crops have differen...

Resource Details (Export Citation) GTAP Keywords
Category: 2012 Conference Paper
Status: Published
By/In: Presented at the 15th Annual Conference on Global Economic Analysis, Geneva, Switzerland
Date: 2012
Created: Estrades, C. (4/26/2012)
Updated: Estrades, C. (4/30/2012)
Visits: 2,351
- Economic analysis of poverty
- Renewable energy

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