GERES fully shares the criticisms voiced in the recent debate on industrial biofuels, but is keen to draw the attention of national and European politicians, decision-makers and civil society stakeholders to the case of what are known as “farmer” or “short supply chain” biofuel projects.
Steering well clear of industrial approaches, various initiatives are seeking to test alternative energy access models for rural communities in Africa. The distinction is clear between intensively farmed biofuel crops and production by farmers for local uses, but there is a fear that support from international co-operation agencies for these vital local initiatives could fall away.
In response, GERES has committed to a wide-ranging awareness-raising campaign aimed at achieving better understanding of the issues, principles and benefits surrounding these local supply chains, so that everyone can avoid confusing them with industrial biofuels.
GERES and IRAM are therefore jointly launching an official appeal for support in trials of farmer biofuels. Issued as a position paper, this appeal forms the starting point of our awareness-raising campaign to support the efforts of countries which are developing alternative ways of meeting their energy challenges.