So says Bolivian President Evo Morales. He was speaking at a UN forum on the global impact of climate change on indigenous peoples. Mr Morales said that capitalism should be scrapped if the planet is to be saved from the effects of climate change.
Bolivia’s left-wing president said unbridled industrial development was responsible for the pillaging of natural resources. But, he said, “some South American presidents who were talking about biofuels but did not understand what they were talking about”.
This is a clear reference to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who says his country has enough land to grow food crops as well as plants to produce biofuels. On Monday, Brazil announced a major joint venture in Ghana to grow sugar cane for bio-ethanol.
“In Ghana we are developing a project that will result in growing 27,000 hectares (of sugar cane) for the production of 150 million litres of ethanol per year that are destined for the Swedish market,” said President Lula, who was in Accra for the occasion.
Peru’s President Garcia said the demand for biofuels was putting world food production under threat. Just over 40% of Peruvians – some 12 million people – live below the poverty line and have been hit hard by the soaring cost of basic foodstuffs.
The global prices of wheat, rice and maize have nearly doubled in the past year, while milk and meat have more than doubled in price in some countries. Food riots earlier this month in Haiti, which is highly reliant on imports of food and fuel, led to the deaths of at least six people, including a UN peacekeeper.
There has also been unrest in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Mozambique and Senegal.