“We must have the political courage to initiate a global plan to phase out first-generation biofuels”

Tribune. Today, most of the renewable energies used in the transport sector are based on so-called first generation biofuels, or agrofuels, that is to say fuels made from raw materials used for food. Twenty years after committing to this path, the findings are relentless: carbon footprint questionable or even worse than fossil fuels, pressure on biodiversity and soils, land grabbing or pressure on food prices.

However, the government persists in defending this disastrous policy by multiplying the sleight of hand and tax gifts to the various lobbies. Once again, the government’s budget bill proposes to raise the objectives of incorporating biofuels into gasoline and diesel. Officially, this increase will only relate to advanced biofuels, that is to say from ” waste “ and not competing with food.

But this maneuver is an illusion in which the government has become a specialist. In 2019, he tried to pass one of the main palm oil products used by Total in its biorefinery to a ” waste “ before being called to order by the Council of State.

Archives : Biofuels emit more CO2 than gasoline and diesel

In 2018, the government had quietly passed one of the main by-products from sugar beet [l’éthanol de résidus] from the category of first generation biofuels to that of advanced biofuels. However, this sugar co-product is widely used for the manufacture of yeast; it therefore competes with food, as industry professionals denounce it in vain.

Sleight of hand

Since this sleight of hand, the use of this co-product to manufacture bioethanol has supported the meteoric rise of E85, through tax exemption which makes it the cheapest fuel on the market.

The demand created by biofuels makes us prisoners of an agricultural model that is at the end of its rope, because biofuels have little to do with organic farming. Quite the contrary. After potatoes, the arable crops that receive the most phytosanitary treatments are rapeseed, sugar beet and wheat. However, these three crops represent 60% of the raw materials from which the biodiesel and bioethanol consumed in France are produced.

Archives : Food: “Our global agricultural model has run out of steam”

Intensive rapeseed production has led many farmers to a technical stalemate, especially since the ban on neonicotinoids. The derogation snatched up by the sugar beet growers to continue using this pesticide is a reprieve for which the bees are paying a high price.

You have 59.99% of this article left to read. The rest is for subscribers only.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.