Biofuels

Hunger Grains: Are EU policies undermining progress on development?

admin - November 29, 2013

An earlier version of this piece appeared in the October issue of the Government Gazette Today we fear EU ambassadors will agree a really bad deal on EU biofuel reform. In 2009 EU governments agreed that by 2020 10% of the energy used in transport would have to come from renewable sources. This target will almost exclusively be met by using food-based biofuels and has …

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Which rich countries are good/bad on hunger and nutrition? A new index takes aim at the donors.

admin - June 5, 2013

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the new Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index of developing countries. Yesterday, IDS published a second HANCI for the donor countries. The Index assesses governments on both their promises and performance, strokes the good guys and slaps the bad, provides arguments and data for civil society and scrutinizes aid levels. Some of the things I liked: it combines the …

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What’s the link between land grabs, trade rules and climate change? Good new briefing from Sophia Murphy

admin - March 12, 2013

You can rely on Sophia Murphy for crisp, credible analyses of agricultural trade and food issues. Her latest paper, Land Grabs and Fragile Food Systems, is up to her usual standard. She locates the current row over land grabs in some broader debates that have rather fallen off the agenda, namely globalization and trade rules. Made me come over all nostalgic for the WTO-bashing of …

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Launch of ‘If’ – new megacampaign to tackle global hunger: how does it compare with ‘Make Poverty History’?

admin - January 23, 2013

Sorry for a second post in one day, but the launch of If is a biggie Ah the perils of age – am I becoming one of those annoying old guys who greets every new idea (however excellent) with a weary sigh and ‘we already did/discussed all that back in the 19XXs’? I ask because I have a distinct sense of ‘here we go again’ …

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Why the World Bank is wrong (so far) on large land deals

admin - October 26, 2012

You’re getting a lot of guest posts this week, not least because I’m in India – expect a spate of India posts next week. Here’s Hannah Stoddart, Oxfam’s Head of Economic Justice Policy, responding to the World Bank’s response to Oxfam’s call for a freeze on large land deals. Oxfam’s land grabs campaign, launched on 4th October, highlights the alarming increase in the speed and …

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Why the World Bank should declare a freeze on big land deals

admin - October 4, 2012

‘Buy land. They’re not making it any more.’ Around the world, a lot of investors are taking Mark Twain’s advice to heart, and the resulting land rush is doing an awful lot of damage. A hard-hitting, killer fact-tastic Oxfam briefing written by my colleague Kate Geary published today summarizes the stats (as far as we know them). In the past decade, an area eight times …

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The Hunger Grains: new research shows EU biofuel policies drive food prices and land grabs

admin - September 17, 2012

Oxfam economic policy adviser Ruth Kelly (right) unveils her new paper, published today, on a really simple, bad policy that rich countries can fix – biofuels. The past five years have seen two record spikes in the price of food; and prices are rising again, with corn and soy hitting record highs in summer 2012. There is intense disagreement about what causes food price spikes …

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Cereal Secrets: Lifting the lid on the World's big 4 grain traders

admin - August 14, 2012

Campaigners and journalists love a brand – targeting Nike, Walmart, (maybe even Oxfam) virtually guarantees you a bigger audience. Unfortunately, that means brand-less companies can get away with murder (hopefully just a figure of speech). Cereal Secrets, a new research report for Oxfam by Sophia Murphy, David Burch and Jennifer Clapp, lifts the lid on some of the biggest and most influential firms you’ve never …

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Confronting scarcity by managing water, energy and land: the new European Report on Development

admin - June 13, 2012

I have skimmed a few of the curtain raisers for next week’s Earth Summit in Rio, and sure enough, they fall into the familiar pattern of ‘If I ruled (or at least ‘managed’) the world’ documents: a summary of the research evidence, a call to arms (in this case save planet and species, preferably both), and a shopping list of policy recommendations. In such reports, …

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The latest (big) numbers on land grabs, and some powerful case studies

admin - September 22, 2011

Oxfam adds its voice to the growing clamour about land grabs with two new reports out today. Land and Power: The Growing Scandal Surrounding the New Wave of Investments in Land pulls together some fascinating (and sometimes shocking) case studies from South Sudan, Uganda, Indonesia, Honduras and Guatemala, and adds up some big new global numbers. The New Forests Company and its Uganda Plantations goes …

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