Mexicans protest in 2007 against rising food prices, a crisis the World Bank believes is spurred by the global push for plant-based fuel production.
While environmentalists and opponents of foreign oil may have found common cause in the use of biofuels, a new, confidential World Bank report estimates that the recent increase in plant-based fuel production has actually contributed to a 75 percent rise in global food prices, sparking riots across the world and pushing millions beneath the poverty line.
This figure greatly contradicts the U.S. government’s finding that biofuels are responsible for only 3 percent of the rise in global food prices.
Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75%—far more than previously estimated—according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian.
The damning unpublished assessment is based on the most detailed analysis of the crisis so far, carried out by an internationally-respected economist at [the] global financial body.
The figure emphatically contradicts the US government’s claims that plant-derived fuels contribute less than 3% to food-price rises. It will add to pressure on governments in Washington and across Europe, which have turned to plant-derived fuels to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and reduce their dependence on imported oil.
Senior development sources believe the report, completed in April, has not been published to avoid embarrassing President George Bush.