The heavily forested port of Lavirot in Cayenne, French Guiana, where a 120-megawatt soy liquid biofuels energy station is planned. Image courtesy of Francois Kuseni. French Guiana, an overseas department of France on the northeast coast of South America, lies mostly within Amazonia. Bordered by Suriname and Brazil, 98% of this Indiana-sized area is covered by dense rainforests and mangrove — ecosystems chockful of biodiversity, critical to climate change mitigation, and now in the crosshairs of France’s long-term energy policy. The French government launched a multiyear plan in 2018 to convert French Guiana’s aging energy infrastructure to power stations that will mostly burn biofuels — with major negative implications for the region’s wildlife, rainforests, carbon emissions, and by extension, global climate change mitigation. “A local government representative has authorized the establishment of an oil-fired power station in a mangrove forest two miles from the edge of the Amazon forest,” says Francois Kuseni, an environmental activist and member of French Guiana’s Ecology Party from Cayenne, French Guiana’s capital city. In addition, “The government has promised a study of two years to supply the power station with bio oil. The representative said explicitly that they want to grow the soy plants [to be made into biofuel] locally.” The overarching concern: French Guiana has limited available farmland (the region imports 80% of its food), so growing soy as a biofuel could lead to massive deforestation in a part of Amazonia already suffering widespread ecological devastation: French Guiana borders on the Brazilian Amazon where…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer