Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Brazil: Leader Chides Europe on Biofuels


European competitors are trying to undermine Brazil’s biofuels production by raising environmental concerns, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said. Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of ethanol and a pioneer in developing biodiesel. It started a program to fuel cars with ethanol derived from sugar cane 30 years ago. “We have adversaries that will make up any kind of slander against the quality of ethanol and biodiesel,” Mr. da Silva said on his weekly radio show. Asked about reports in European newspapers that biofuels could contribute to deforesting the Amazon, he said, “I told them the Portuguese, who arrived in 1500, introduced sugar cane 470 years ago and it didn’t reach the Amazon for a simple reason — the temperature isn’t suitable.” The United States and Brazil signed an accord in March to jointly promote biofuel production in South America and Africa.

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