The land grabbers of the Nacala Corridor

This study by GRAIN and UNAC, the Mozambican farmers’ organsiation gives an overview on how arable land in the very fertile Nacala corridor has come under pressure by international agribusiness. In this area family farmers struggle to keep their land, because the zone has been demarcated for agribusiness development. Companies and wealthy individuals from cross the world, Japan, Brazil, Portugal, Luxemburg, Austria and Germany flock to Mozambique to acquire land. Many of these companies have opaque structures with subsidiaries in via tax havens, which signifies a loss for the Mozambican economy, because profits are channeled through these tax havens. This latest drive for large scale agribusiness projects has been facilitated by the G8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. The framework agreement signed with the G8 and the Mozambican government was transposed in the National Agricultural Investment Plan, which has been used to accommodate the interests of foreign agribusiness companies from the G8 countries. The article of GRAIN will give you more details. Read the article of GRAIN here  


EU Lawmakers put a cap on land-based biofuels

The Council of Ministers and negotiators of the European Parliament agreed on placing a cap on land-based biofuels, which will be formally voted in the European Parliament the 29th of April. Having a limit on land-based biofuels is certainly a welcome move. However, the proposed limit of 7% of biofuels that can be counted towards the renewable energy goals of the EU is not ambitious enough, given the fact that the European Commission asked for 5% and the Parliament for 6%. The limit is also above current consumption levels of biofuels, meaning that more land will be used for producing biofuels, possibly leading to deforestation and land grabs in developing countries, as well as continuing to push up food prices jeopardizing food security of the poorest.

Another positive point is that the principle of Indirect Land Use Change has been recognized in the proposal, which allows to identify to most polluting biofuels that exacerbate climate change. However, there is a lack of ambition to apply the principle, because for the ILUC-factors merely a reporting requirement is adopted in the text, meaning that the most polluting biofuels can still be counted towards the targets (even biofuels that are more polluting than fossil fuels)

In addition the current proposal fails to include binding targets for advanced biofuels emitting less greenhouse gas emissions. It also has weak sustainability criteria for the new generation of advanced biofuels, necessary to avoid the same mistakes as with the current biofuels policy.

Especially the left wing parties were not satisfied with the proposal, the Green voting against and consider this statement of S&D spokesperson : “It was obvious from the get-go that the Council had decided to give very little ground on this package, but to bend to the will of a strong industrial lobbying operation, to the point where trilogues were almost a charade."

Read the press article here


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