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Biofuels Should be Part of the Mix: FAO Director-General

January 20, 2015


TORONTO — Today, the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) applauded FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva for his support of biofuels as a key part of the global agriculture complex at the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture that took place January 15–17 in Berlin. The Global Forum for Food and Agriculture is an annual international conference that focuses on central questions concerning the future of the global agri-food industry. This year's theme was "The Growing Demand for Food, Raw Materials and Energy: Opportunities for Agriculture, Challenges for Food Security?" Throughout his remarks, the Director-General praised biofuels for their social, agricultural and environmental benefits and the necessity for agriculture to accommodate both food and fuel. "We applaud the FAO Director-General for stating what over 62 countries with biofuel-friendly policies have known for years — that biofuels deliver much needed rural jobs, significantly curb green house gas emissions, reduce our reliance on crude oil, and encourage energy diversity, " stated Bliss Baker, spokesperson for the GRFA. According to the GRFA, global biofuel production is making a significant contribution to the global economy, having contributed $277.3 billion and supported nearly 1.4 million jobs in all sectors of the global economy in 2010. By 2020 the global biofuel industry is forecasted to grow to support over 2.2 million jobs in all sectors of the global economy. Additionally, according to F.O. Licht, global ethanol production was forecasted to reach 90.38 billion litres in 2014 and its use worldwide would reduce GHG emissions by over 106 million tonnes globally, equal to removing 21 million cars — the equivalent of all the cars registered in Malaysia — off the road annually. The Director-General also stressed the need to shift to sustainable agriculture systems, achieving greater efficiencies in their use of natural resources, in particular water, energy and land, to allow room for both food and fuel. The Global Renewable Fuels Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting biofuel friendly policies internationally. Alliance members represent over 65% of the global biofuels production from 44 countries. Through the development of new technologies and best practices, Alliance members are committed to producing renewable fuels with the smallest possible footprint.