Naomi Aptowitzer, Green Party activist in Camden Town and Primrose Hill ward, writes:
As a Green Party representative and a campaigner for alternative energy I went today to protest against this hugely under-reported and extremely worthwhile cause –- producing energy from plants through the use of unsustainable agro power stations.
The cause was strengthened by the presence of key activists, including Norwich Green Party councillor Rupert Read, who was to later give a speech on the dangers of building more biofuel stations. The event was organised by the Campaign against Climate Change, Biofuelwatch, and Food Not Fuel (London).
October 12th is an international day of solidarity with indigenous peoples and for “The Mobilization in Defense of Mother Earth and the Peoples”, which was highly relevant, as many of those affected by destruction caused by agrofuel companies reside in developing countries.
The idea that we can replace fossil fuels with agrofuels is naive. The reality is a destructive continuum implemented by big business such as logging companies who benefit from clearing forests, refinery businesses, and unethical land owners who dupe local elders into handing over their land. They all directly benefit from this government’s decision to divert renewable energy subsidies (or Renewable Obligations Certificates – ROCs) to subsidise power stations that use agrofuels.
The British government could act. It could demand a moratorium on bio-fuels until further impact studies have been investigated and the results analysed.
The crucial point in raising awareness of this issue is that there are very viable alternatives. Solar, thermal and wind power all provide clean technology and can help solve our increasing thirst for energy consumption. Yet the government’s position seems far away from actualising these lesser impacting alternatives. Instead the UK’s last but one factory producing wind turbines has closed and solar energy firms are struggling, vast “renewable energy” funding is going to agrofuels which actually make global warming much worse.
The more people are made aware of these ludicrous and destructive policies, the more we can come together to protect the global environment, protect our local environment and protest against this destructive madness.