Agrofuels and environment

Ministerial summary document on the impact of agrofuels on the environment

French Republic, December 2008.

Introduction by Yvon LE MAHO, Research Director CNRS, Member of the Academy of Sciences, President of the Scientific Council of Natural Heritage and Biodiversity

In its agricultural orientation law of January 2006, the French government set the new objective of going beyond community commitments by accelerating the implementation of the development of industrial agrofuels. The idea was to reach from 2008 the European target of 5,75% incorporation of biofuels set for 2010 and reach 10% in 2015.

The Scientific Council for Natural Heritage and Biodiversity (CSPNB) is certainly aware of the importance and the urgency of facing the challenges of climate change.

The scale of the new biofuels plan and the observation that it had been designed and promoted without a prior global impact study, therefore led the CSPNB toask about its potential impacts on biodiversity as well as on the use and quality of water.

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By issuing in 2006 the recommendation to launch a study program addressing all the environmental issues associated with the agrofuels development strategy, the CSPNB asked that such an impact study be undertaken without delay. The current food crisis, whether viewed from the perspective of competition between production
of agrofuels and insurance of food needs, or constraints linked to the increase in the price of oil, or financial speculation on cereals, obviously reinforces the necessity, the urgency and the global character of this study. impact.

In this context, the seminars organized by the Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Regional Planning in Grenoble and Paris, from which this report is based, constitute an important step. They constitute a very basis for reflection.
appropriate to develop scientific research and expertise, in an approach that necessarily appears to have to be multidisciplinary.

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