Sinn Féin MEP, Martina Anderson commenting on the result of a vote aimed at addressing the negative impact of EU Bio-fuel policy at the European Parliament in Strasbourg today expressed her disappointment at the outcome.

Martina Anderson said:

“The vote today on crucial European legislation regarding bio-fuels, was intended to redress some of the negative impacts the EU’s bio-fuel policy to date has had in regards the impact Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) has had on the developing world as production is diverted from food to bio-fuel crops, inflating the cost of food and pushing people into poverty and hunger.

“Once again, I am disappointed that what could have been a very good report, with positive effects, has been watered down to appease the constant efforts of the rampant multi-national producers lobbying machine operating in Europe. Unfortunately, some MEPs have been all too willing to give them a ready ear.

“Whilst the proposal had aimed at capping the amount of bio-fuels in the overall fuel mix at 5% this was gradually extended to 5.5% in committee and today MEPs voted for 6%. Now 1% per cent doesn’t sound like a lot but when applied to land mass, required to produce it in developing countries, it represents a serious amount of land which could produce food and address the endemic hunger that exists, but will now be used to produce extra bio-fuel crops for the purpose of increased profits to feed the greed of the already wealthy.

“I am further frustrated that a very slim majority in the EU Parliament voted against commencing immediate negotiations with the Council, adding further delay to a problem which needs resolution now.

“While emissions arising from ILUC will be taken into account, I feel that we could have had a much more robust and environmentally and socially just report.”