Brazil’s President Lula Closes International Biofuels Conference, Calls for Investments in New Energy Sources

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva 21 November 2008: Speaking at the closing of the International Conference on Biofuels, which convened from 17-21 November 2008, in São Paolo, Brazil, Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva called on industrialized countries to invest in the production of biofuels in impoverished countries that have available land, such as African countries.

While noting that biofuels are not a panacea for all the environmental

and economic problems, he said that “biofuels can become an instrument

to change people's lives, capable of reducing poverty and social

differences, and to generate income, mainly in countries currently

under development.” The Conference, which was convened under the theme

“Biofuels as a Driving Force of Sustainable Development,” aimed at

encouraging international discussion about the challenges and

opportunities of biofuels and related issues, such as energy security,

climate change, sustainability of the production and use, innovation,

and agricultural and industrial processing.

The event was attended by

participants from 92 countries as well as numerous non-governmental and

private sector organizations. While no formal declaration was adopted,

the summaries of Conference's plenary sessions suggest that

participants broadly supported a number of statements, including: a 10%

share of biofuels in transport worldwide is feasible; biofuels can

significantly contribute to combating climate change; the current food,

energy and financial crises provide an opportunity to revise standards

of production and consumption, and boost the development of renewable

and sustainable energy sources; biofuels can be a driver of rural

development; innovation and technology development in all aspects of

biofuel production and use will increase efficiency in biomass

conversion; and a number of measures are necessary to create global

market for biofuels, including their classification as environmental

commodities under the World Trade Organization and the reduction of

tariffs and other trade barriers. [Summary of President Lula's Speech] [Summaries of Plenary Sessions]