Brazil ambassador sees global bias against ethanol

28 March 2012 17:07  [Source: ICIS news]

SAO PAULO (ICIS)--A Brazilian ambassador on Wednesday said the “dilemma” surrounding the impact on food supplies from the increased use of biofuels is the result of global discrimination against ethanol, particularly in Europe.

The food-versus-fuel dilemma is not a major dilemma at all, said Mariangela Rebua, energy department director at Brazil’s foreign relations ministry, blaming the perception that ethanol could increase global hunger on a bias against the biofuel. 

Land availability is ample, she said, adding that crops used for biofuels production account for a very small share of the world’s arable lands.  

Rebua also defended the environmental benefits derived from biofuels, saying fossil fuels are the main cause of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

Brazil produces sustainable ethanol, recognized by the US government as an advanced biofuel that can reduce GHG emissions by 80%, she told delegates at FO Licht’s eighth annual Sugar and Ethanol Brazil conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil. 

Rebua called the food-versus-fuel debate a “myth” resulting from prejudice against ethanol. 

The myth needs to change, she said. 

She also said the participation of renewable sources in the world energy mix has to increase, adding that 1.5bn people have no access to energy and 1bn people have access to only unreliable electricity networks. 

The 2012 Sugar and Ethanol Brazil conference opened on Tuesday. The two-day event was organised in partnership with IBC Brasil. 


By: William Lemos
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