Ethanol is not always good, in Barbados

Ethanol is not always a good idea, in countries like Barbados. That is the story the Barbados Free Press has on-line, about the visit of some European Union advisors to the country, who were sent to look into the suitability of converting the Barbadian sugar industry into ethanol production.
Worth reading not only for the tooing and froing that the report says went on between the government and the EU adivsors (who left pretty sharply) but also for the paper’s take on the government’s response to the EU’s initial proposal for an audit of a one-off payment to help cushion changes in the sugar regime.

If developing countries are going to grow their biofuels industries, they will need to be able to convince donors that the money will be going to the right place. Donors have a duty to the people who fund them, that this is happening. Audits with aid would help ensure transparency and confidence between donor and recipient.

Hats off (and a deep bow) to Keith Ripley on the Temas Blog, who’s post on his excellent blog, pointed me in this direction.

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One Response to Ethanol is not always good, in Barbados

  1. Keith R 24 August, 2007 at 4:18 pm #

    Wow. “excellent blog” and a deep bow from Simon! Now I know I’ve made it! :-) More seriously, thanks for the kind word about Temas.

    Yes, biofuel, including ethanol, does not always make sense technically, economically and environmentally for all nations, although you’d hardly know it from the way some publications (present company excluded, of course), consultants, banks, government officials and multilateral organizations speak of it.

    In all development projects, transparency and accountability should be insisted on. This, to my mind, applies doubly when there is the kind of market/investor fever (froth?) that we see currently in biofuels. In such conditions the possibilities, if not the probabilities, for fraud and graft greatly increase.

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