MILLIONS of people could face poverty due to the increasing demand for biofuel by airlines, according to a charity.
Earlier this month, Thomson Airways became the first British airline to use biofuels on a commercial flight, when it flew between Birmingham and Lanzarote.
The airline’s bosses claim that widespread use of biofuels could reduce the aviation industry’s carbon dioxide emissions by 80 per cent.
But anti-poverty charity, ActionAid, has warned of the serious implications of using biofuels in planes and cars.
“Biofuels are making life harder for poor people in popular holiday destinations,” said ActionAid spokesman Meredith Alexander.
“Using crops to fuel engines makes food more expensive. Biofuel use in cars is projected to push hundreds of millions into hunger by 2020. Rushing to use them in planes could make things worse.”
Meanwhile, environmental protest group Plane Stupid claim that the widespread adoption of biofuels – which come from sources including palm oil and jatropha plants – would have a negative impact on rainforests.
“Vast tracts of rainforest are currently being trashed to make way for biofuel plantations,” a spokesman said.
“Land used to grow food is being stolen from some of the world’s poorest people so that it can be used to fuel planes.”