Europe spends land on biofuel crops, impeding food security, study shows


Europe – A new study reveals that Europe presently wastes land the size of Ireland on crops for biofuels, which is a barrier to combating climate change and ensuring food security.

According to the T&E-commissioned study, this area might be used to feed 120 million people or, if returned to nature, could absorb twice as much CO2 as is purportedly avoided by using biofuels to power automobiles. The same amount of electricity could be produced by installing solar panels on just 2.5% of this property.

Food before gasoline

The study found that land that might be utilized to grow crops for biofuels could also be used to meet the calorie requirements of at least 120 million people. The 50 million people who, according to the UN, are “in emergency or severe levels of acute food insecurity,” would be covered by it more than adequately. The organizations urge European governments to put food before gasoline in light of the sky-high price of fertilizer on the global market and the uncertain future of the UN-mediated agreement that permitted grain exports out of Ukraine.

This is made worse by the dubious climatic benefits of biofuels. The entire amount of land needed to produce the crop biofuels used in Europe is 9.6 million hectares, which is more than the size of the island of Ireland. This could remove 65 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere if it were allowed to revert to its natural form, which is almost double the declared net CO2 savings from biofuels replacing fossil fuels.

Solar power

Also, building solar farms on the site would be a lot more effective. The analysis reveals that compared to an electric automobile fueled by solar energy, a car fuelled by biofuels requires 40 times more area to operate. Solar would only require 2.5% of the land currently used for biofuels to provide the same amount of electricity, leaving the remainder accessible for food production or natural carbon sinks.

Through its Nature Restoration Legislation, the EU has set goals to slow and stop biodiversity loss. Ending the use of land for biofuels could be a crucial step in achieving this aim because the feedstocks for biofuels occupy a substantial portion of Europe’s croplands.