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- 5-16 May 2008, New York, NY, USA: Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) - CSD 16 Meeting
- 9-11 May 2008, Beijing, China: 2008 China Biomass (Straw) Comprehensive Utilization Seminar & Technique and Equipment Exhibition. (Themes: biomass, straw)
- 13-15 May 2008, Madison, Wisconsin, USA: Small Wood 2008 & Bioenergy and Wood Products (Themes: biomass, wood)
- 15 May 2008, Washington, D.C., USA: Betting on Biofuels: Opportunities and Implications. Event to be webcast live. Sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
- 15-16 May 2008, Baltimore, Maryland, USA: Second Generation Biofuels Development, including Sustainability Workshop (Themes: biofuels, sustainability)
- 19-20 May 2008, Brussels, Belgium: Reality Check on EU Bioenergy Targets (Themes: biomass, policy, technology, trade)
- 21-22 May 2008, Kansas City, Missouri, USA: 12th Distillers Grains Symposium (Themes: distillers grains, ethanol)
- 27-28 May 2008, Brussels, Belgium. The European Refining and Fuels Conference on Low-Carbon Fuels Implementation. (Theme: low-carbon fuels)
- 28-29 May 2009, Geneva, Switzerland: Next Gen Bio-Ethanol. (Themes: ethanol, second generation biofuels)
- 28-30 May 2008, Sacramento, California, USA: Joint Forum on Bioenergy Sustainability and Lifecycle Analysis (Themes: bioenergy, sustainability, lifecycle analysis)
- Food Report Criticizes Biofuel Policies, 30 May 2008 by New York Times: U.S. "Agriculture Secretary Edward T. Schafer is preparing to walk into a buzzsaw of criticism over American biofuels policy when he meets with world leaders to discuss the global food crisis next week."
- Schafer "said an analysis by the Agriculture Department had determined that biofuel production was responsible for only 2 to 3 percent of the increase in global food prices, while biofuels had reduced consumption of crude oil by a million barrels a day."
- "Just hours before his comments, a major report was released in Paris that urged countries to reconsider biofuels policies in the wake of soaring food prices....'The energy security, environmental and economic benefits of biofuels production based on agricultural commodity feed stocks are at best modest, and sometimes even negative,' says the report, prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development."
- See the OECD-FAO report: "OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2008-2017 (PDF file)"
- U.N. Report Seeks Action to Address Food Crisis, 29 May 2008 by New York Times: "In anticipation of a global summit on the food crisis, the United Nations called on world leaders Wednesday to agree to urgent measures to ease demand for grains and alleviate high food prices."
- "The report, by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, suggests that countries might need to reconsider policies that encourage the production of ethanol and other biofuels."
- "The report said the price increases were caused by a confluence of events. Weather problems created crop shortages, and demand for biofuels ratcheted up demand for corn, sugar and other feedstocks."
- Read the FAO report: Soaring Food Prices: Facts, Perspectives, Impacts and Actions Required (PDF file)
- Palm oil producers declare forests off limits, 27 May 2008 by Carbonpositive:
- "Responding to growing international concern over the lack of sustainability in crop-based production of biofuels, Indonesian palm oil producers have said they will not clear land for their crops in future.""
- The head of the Indonesian Palm Oil Association has told a climate change forum that member companies will only plant on idle land to help prevent the destruction of the country’s rainforest.
- Civil Society statement on the World Food Emergency - No More “Failures-as-Usual"! (PDF file), late May 2008. The International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty, a coalition of civil society organizations, issued a statement that reads in part, "We demand an immediate halt to the development of land for producing industrial agrofuels for cars, planes and energy production in power stations, including the use of so-called biomass 'waste'. The sudden sharp increase in large scale industrial agrofuel production threatens local and global food security, destroys livelihoods, damages the environment and is a significant factor in the steep rise in food prices....The Rome Food Summit should endorse the proposal of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food for a five year moratorium on the expansion of large scale industrial production of agrofuel in order to resolve conflicts with food production, develop rules for agrofuel production and to evaluate proposed agrofuel technologies."
- Farm Bill Establishes New Biomass Crop Assistance Program, 23 May 2008 press release by 25 x '25: "A program to encourage farmers to establish and grow biomass crops in areas around biomass facilities has been included in the recently adopted [U.S.] 2008 Farm Bill. The Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) would help producers willing to switch part or all of their acreage to dedicated energy crops."
- "Agricultural producers in BCAP project areas may contract with USDA to receive biomass crop establishment payments" plus other payments to support crop harvesting, storage, and transport...."Producers are also prohibited from planting noxious or invasive plants as part of the program."
- The bill "also sets up through the U.S. Forest Service a competitive research and development program to encourage use of forest biomass for energy....The bill encourages USDA to work closely with the Pine Genome Initiative (PGI), which proponents say would promote healthy forests and the development of new biofuels technology."
- UN rights council targets trade, biofuels in food crisis debate, 22 May 2008 by AFP: "The UN Human Rights Council on Thursday called for worldwide action to guarantee access to food amid soaring prices."
- "The council also heard from the new UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, who called for a halt to new investment and subsidies for biofuel production....De Schutter described as 'unrealistic' current targets by the United States and Europe to increase the usage of biofuels in the next decade."
- Schutter said, "By abandoning them (the targets), we would send a strong signal to the markets that the price of food crops will not infinitely rise, thus discouraging speculation on commodity futures....I have therefore proposed a freeze on all new investments and subsidies favouring the production of fuel by growing crops on arable and non-degraded lands, when such lands are suitable for the production of food crops."
- Indonesia considering mandatory use of biofuel, 21 May 2008 by Reuters: "Indonesia, the world's biggest palm oil producer, is considering bringing in a mandatory policy for the use of palm-based biodiesel in the domestic market this year, government officials said on Wednesday."
- "'The government is studying a mandatory policy for palm biodiesel mix, for example starting with a 3 percent mix,' Franky O. Widjaja, chairman of the Indonesian Palm Oil Board, told reporters on the sidelines of a palm oil industry conference."
- New Trend in Biofuels Has New Risks, 20 May 2008 by New York Times: Second generation biofuels "may bring serious unintended consequences. Most of these newer crops are what scientists label invasive species"
- Peru's agriculture minister seeks restrictions on biofuel production, 20 May 2008 by the International Herald Tribune: "Peru's government plans to restrict biofuel production to secure its food supply, the country's agricultural minister said Tuesday."
- The plans are "to restrict the cultivation of crops destined for biofuels on land currently used to produce food....Clearing of forested land for biofuel production will also be prohibited."
- "Last month, President Alan Garcia blamed rising food prices on the global push to convert cropland to the production of alternative fuels like ethanol."
- Fuel crops 'pose invasion risk', 20 May 2008 by BBC: "Nations should avoid planting biofuel crops that have a high risk of becoming invasive species," according to a report by the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) released at a meeting of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
- The report urges that biofuel crop selection be preceded by careful assessments, and that plants selected should be native species and those with low risk of spreading and degradation of native habitat. Species selection is site-specific: "For example, a crop like Arundo donax (giant reed), which would cause concern in North America, would not cause the same concern in its native habitat in places like Eurasia....Giant reed, which is naturally flammable, increases the risk of wildfires in places such as California, threatening human settlements as well as native species."
- Download the GISP report, "Biofuel crops and the use of non-native species: Mitigating the risks of invasion", at http://www.gisp.org/publications/briefing/index.asp
- Report: Biofuels majority of non-OPEC oil growth, 13 May 2008 by the Houston Chronicle: "Biofuels will account for 63 percent of oil supply growth from non-OPEC countries this year, taking global production of crop-based fuel to more than 1.5 million barrels a day, the International Energy Agency said today."
- Myanmar biofuel drive deepens food shortage , 13 May 2008 by AFP: "Myanmar is struggling to feed its people in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis -- in part because the regime has been forcing some farmers to stop growing rice in a plan to produce biofuel instead."
- Sweet sorghum promoted as "smart" biofuel, 12 May 2008 by Reuters: Sweet sorghum a "corn-like plant that can grow as high as an elephant's eye on some of Earth's driest farmland shows promise as a "smart" biofuel that won't cut into world food supplies, an agriculture expert said on Monday."
- "Unlike corn-based ethanol, which uses one and a half times as much energy in its production as it offers as an end product, sweet sorghum produces eight units of fuel for every unit of fuel used to make it in developing countries."
- Iogen Nixes Idaho for Ethanol Plant, Picks Saskatchewan, May 9 2008 by Canadian Press:
- "For the last two years, Iogen had leaned toward building a cellulosic ethanol facility near the community of Shelley, near where farmers already are under contract to provide the wheat and barley straw, corn leaves and stalks, and switch grass used to produce ethanol."
- "A U.S. Department of Energy spending package included loan guarantees and an US $80 million grant for the project, estimated in 2006 to cost up to US $350 million. But in March, the Canadian government announced it had allocated $500 million for projects to build next-generation biofuels plants in Canada." 
- Kick the oil habit and make your own ethanol, May 9 2008 by Reuters: "E-Fuel Corp unveiled on Thursday the "MicroFueler" touting it as the world's first machine that allows homeowners to make their own ethanol and pump the brew directly into their cars."
- It's not food, it's not fuel, it's China, 8 May 2008 by Biofuels Digest: "A change in Chinese meat consumption habits since 1995 is diverting up to eight billion bushels of grain per year to livestock feed and could empty global grain stocks by September 2010, according to a new study."
- Indonesia adopts stringent "green" palm oil standard, 7 May 2008 by Reuters: "Indonesia, the world's biggest palm oil producer, plans to take firm measures aimed at ensuring palm oil firms meet stringent standards before labeling their products as eco-friendly, an industry watchdog said on Wednesday."
- Biofuels: more valuable as fuel than as a scapegoat, press release of 6 May 2008: Mariann Fischer Boel (Member of the European Commission responsible for Agriculture and Rural Development) said that "those who see biofuels as the driving force behind recent food price increases have overlooked not just one elephant standing right in front of them, but two.
- "The first elephant is the huge increase in demand from emerging countries like China and India. These countries are eating more meat. It takes about 4 kg of cereals to produce 1 kg of pork, and about 2 kg of cereals to make 1 kg of poultry meat. So a dietary shift towards meat in countries with populations of over 1 billion people each has an enormous impact on commodity markets.
- "The second elephant is the weather, and its effect on production. In 2006, bad weather hit cereal production in the US, the European Union, Canada, Russia, Ukraine and Australia! In 2007, the same thing happened again, except in the US. This is not a recipe for low prices.
- "Alongside these two elephants are other influences. One of these is speculation."
- New report shows EU biofuel policy likely to cause worldwide environmental destruction, 6 May 2008 press release by Birdlife International: "The EU’s biofuel policy is likely to cause large-scale environmental harm across the world, according to a new report [Fuelling the ecological crisis - six examples of habitat destruction driven by biofuels (PDF file)] published today by BirdLife International."
- "The report presents real life cases, from across the world, where the production of biofuel feed stocks is leading to the clearing of natural habitats. It examines the potential for future damage by analysing these case studies against the “sustainability standards” proposed by the European Commission, which are supposed only to allow “sustainable biofuels” to be allowed into the EU market."
- "The major failing of the Commission proposal is that it ignores indirect effects of biofuel production such as increased consumption of EU oil-seed rape driving up demand for South-East Asian palm oil or US corn ethanol subsidies driving soya expansion in the Amazon."
- "The standards would also fail to protect key wildlife habitats such as set-aside in Europe or precious wetlands such as the Tana River Delta in Kenya."
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What is bioenergy? | Benefits/Risks | Who is doing what?