World Bank: Scrap biofuel subsidies to curb food costs

The World Bank, WTO, and other agencies have wisely come out against biofuel subsidies.  Most of these subsidies go to corn-based biofuels, which drive up the cost of food worldwide and offer minimal environmental or energy policy advantages.

My comments:  Instead of subsidizing ineffective or counter-effective biofuels like corn, governments should boost R&D for next generation biofuels.  Create prizes or initiatives specifically focused on boosting net energy yield per hectare, and specifically encouraging biofuels that can thrive on salt or brackish water and which won’t compete with food crops.

(See my post on how biofuels that can reach yields of 5 watts / meter or more could replace all oil consumption while taking up only 0.6% of the Earth’s land.

(Reuters) – Governments should scrap policies to support biofuels because they are forcing up global food prices, according to a report by 10 international agencies including the World Bank and World Trade Organization.

via Scrap biofuel support to curb food costs: agencies | Reuters.

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