Biofuels May Be Even Worse than First Thought

An internal report put together by the World Bank and leaked to the Guardian claims that biofuels may be responsible for up to 75 percent of recent rises in food prices. Even environmental groups haven’t gone that far in their estimates.

With soaring food prices high on the agenda for next week’s G-8 Summit in Japan, World Bank President Robert Zoellick has been clear that action needs to be taken. “What we are witnessing is not a natural disaster — a silent tsunami or a perfect storm,” he wrote in a Tuesday letter to major Western leaders. “It is a man-made catastrophe, and as such must be fixed by people.”

According to a confidential World Bank report leaked to the Guardian on Thursday, Zoellick’s organization may have a pretty good idea what that fix might look like: stop producing biofuels.

The report claims that biofuels have driven up global food prices by 75 percent, according to the Guardian report, accounting for more than half of the 140 percent jump in price since 2002 of the food examined by the study. The paper claims that the report, completed in April, was not made public in order to avoid embarrassing US President George W. Bush.

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