Campaigners from Lewes, including Independent Councillor and Mayor Elect Ruth O’Keeffe, staged a protest against food being used as fuel for vehicles.
They delivered an ActionAid petition, signed by local residents, to the East Street offices of Lewes MP Norman Baker.
Cllr O’Keeffe said: “One in eight people goes hungry each day. Yet we’re taking food and burning it in our cars as biofuels – every year the UK burns enough food crops in our cars to feed 10 million people.”
“We’re calling on Mr Baker to use his position as Minister with responsibility for biofuels to take a lead in Europe and end the madness of burning food for fuel.”
Whilst biofuels were introduced in all good faith as a supposedly ‘renewable’ fuel, evidence now shows that most biofuels produce more greenhouse gas emissions than the fossil fuels they were designed to replace.
Growing crops to make fuel instead of food drives up global food prices, hitting those that can least afford it.
In addition, as biofuel policies and mandates around the world encourage international investors to grab land to create biofuel plantations in poor countries, people are forced off the land which they rely on for their livelihoods.
The petition presented to Mr Baker was made up of symbolic grains of wheat signed by people in Lewes who have joined the call for ‘Food not Fuel’ (www.actionaid.org.uk/foodnotfuel) and forms part of a national petition signed by more than 8,000 people.
The group were meeting Mr Baker ahead of negotiations to reform European biofuels policy.
They asked him to ensure the UK government takes a lead in the negotiations.