Production of crops for biofuels also competes with food production (Banse et al., 2008). Indeed, the corn equivalent of the energy used on a few minutes drive could feed a person for a day, while a full tank of ethanol in a large 4-wheel drive suburban utility vehicle could almost feed one person for a year. A recent OECD-FAO (2007) report expected food prices to rise by between 20% and 50% by 2016 partly as a result of biofuels. Already, drastically raised food prices have resulted in violent demonstrations and protests around the world in early 2008. Current OECD scenarios by the IMAGE model project a mean increase in the proportion of land allocated to crops for biofuel production equivalent to 0.5% of the cropland area in 2008, 2% by 2030 (range 1–3%) and 5% by 2050 (range 2–8%).
From collection: The Environmental Food Crisis - The Environment's Role in Averting Future Food Crises
Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal