CSIS report excerpts

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The following are excerpts from the report, "A Call For A Strategic U.S. Approach To The Global Food Crisis - A Report of the CSIS Task Force on the Global Food Crisis" (PDF file) released 28 July 2008 by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).


Key excerpts:
Page 4:

The rise in the production of biofuels based on food grains has contributed to global food price increases since 2006, though estimates vary widely over the impact, ranging from 3 percent to 65 percent. High oil-price trends drive the demand for biofuels, while preferential tariffs, subsidies, and mandates contribute to the rise of American and European producer preferences for biofuel crops. This is a global phenomenon, affecting markets for wheat, maize, sugar, oil seeds, cassava, palm oil, and beyond. The shared dilemma for Europe and the United States is how to respond responsibly and effectively to intensifying pressures to promote food and fuel security simultaneously.


Page 8:

The CSIS Task Force recommends:
Revise the U.S. approach to biofuels.

  • Issue an official policy statement outlining the steps the United States will take to expand food crops for consumption purposes and to decouple food and energy issues so that the debate progresses from one of fuel versus food to fuel and food security.
  • Accelerate efforts to bring on line the next generation of cellulosic-based and other biofuels in order to reduce dependence on corn.
  • Bring into force new sustainability criteria to assess the life-cycle costs and carbon requirements for alternative biofuels. Adjust subsidies to reflect true input costs.
  • Aggressively foster trade in biofuels to allow the most efficient producers and feedstocks access to U.S. and world markets: through a phaseout of barriers to trade, including preferential tariffs; improved technical standards to facilitate biofuels trade; and expanded trade from countries that currently have access to the U.S. market under free-trade agreements (FTAs).
  • Commission analyses of agricultural production’s dependence on energy inputs, in both developed and developing countries, including options for reducing agriculture’s reliance on fossil fuels.


Policy edit
Policies by region: EU policy | US policy (Obama Administration) | G8 policy | UK policy (Gallagher Review)
Sustainability standards
Position papers (CSIS Report, Tropical Forest and Climate Unity Agreement)


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