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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 20, 2008


Joint Statement by the United States and Brazil Announcing the Expansion of Cooperation on Biofuels to Advance Energy Security and Promote Sustainable Development

Following is a joint statement by the United States and Brazil announcing the expansion of cooperation on biofuels to advance security and promote sustainable development.

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Today, the U.S. and Brazilian governments announced an expansion of cooperation on biofuels under the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2007 to advance their shared goals of energy security, sustainable development, and environmental protection.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer and Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, meeting at the International Biofuels Conference in São Paulo, unveiled plans of the two governments to expand scientific collaboration in biofuels and to work with five new countries in Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean interested in developing their domestic biofuels industries.

Bilaterally, Secretary Schafer and Minister Amorim welcomed an agreement signed on October 3, 2008 between the U.S. National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) and Petrobras’ Center for Research and Development (CENPES) to accelerate the development and integration of next generation biofuels feedstock, production, and distribution systems in the U.S. and Brazil. This cooperation is the result of the reciprocal scientific exchanges and high-level visits that have occurred over the last year under the aegis of U.S.-Brazil biofuels cooperation.

In Third Countries, the governments announced new partnerships with Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Guinea-Bissau, and Senegal. These new partners, along with the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, and St. Kitts and Nevis, comprise a total of nine partner nations to benefit from U.S.-Brazil biofuels collaboration. In the initial tranche of countries, the United States, Brazil, and MOU partners (IDB, OAS, and UN Foundation) have obligated over $4.3 million across twelve projects that are underway. All partners are working to develop local biofuels industries to reduce dependence on imported fuels and promote sustainable development.

Globally, members of the International Biofuels Forum (IBF) are advancing the commoditization of biofuels through cooperation on technical standards. To promote biofuels sustainability, the United States and Brazil, working through the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP), are developing a methodological framework to assess biofuels’ greenhouse gas emissions and benefits, as well as voluntary, science-based sustainability criteria and indicators.

Finally, Secretary Schafer and Minister Amorim highlighted the key role private industry will continue to play in spurring innovation in biofuels technologies, and in bringing the needed investment to grow the global market. The Private Sector Advisory Board to the U.S.-Brazil Biofuels Steering Group is discussing a partnership that will accelerate the integration of next generation biofuels technologies in U.S. and Brazilian markets.

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2008/978

Released on November 20, 2008

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