Pakistan Economy Watch said decision to use ethanol as fuel could result in severe food crisis and environmental hazards. Apart from energy, it requires four to five gallons of water to produce one gallon of ethanol. Later the water becomes toxic. Increase in greenhouse gases is also an effect.
The recent global food crisis was not result of any calamities but the economic vision of George W Bush who religiously pushed the policy to use food as fuel, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President Pakistan Economy Watch. The decision was taken to minimise dependence of Arab fossil fuel which backfired in the first year of execution, he added.
He said that European Union also followed the suit without considering the consequences which compounded the crisis. Many rich nations escaped the situation owing to their buying power but poor in Africa and Asia paid the price. “Few gallons of fuel produced by processing sugar, corn or other edibles can feed a normal family for couple of months,” he said adding that food is supposed for the human consumption and it should not end up in petrol tanks. Automotives should not be considered as more important than human.
Majority of countries have abandoned policy to use food items for making clean-burning additive to petrol. Almost all countries are busy in ensuring food security through building strategic food reserves and promoting agriculture while we leading in the opposite direction.
The decision cannot be justified in the backdrop of receding global oil prices; especially in a country that is dependent on food imports, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal. Some fifty ethanol plans in the US alone have been closed and the number is projected to cross 100 by the next year; same is the case with the EU. Not masses but a lobby need these plants.-SANA