Fact Sheet-Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs-Washington, DC-August 22/07
Advancing Cooperation on Biofuels: U.S.-Brazil Steering Group Meets August 20
The U.S.-Brazil Biofuels Steering Group met on August 20 in Brasilia. This meeting, a further step in advancing cooperation on biofuels, was chaired by U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs Reuben Jeffery III and Brazilian Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Everton Vargas.
The partnership's aims are to catalyze biofuels use in the region and beyond; diversifying energy supplies, democratizing energy markets, bolstering economic prosperity, advancing sustainable development, and protecting the environment. The officials noted with great satisfaction the accomplishments made under the U.S.-Brazil Memorandum of Understanding to Advance Biofuels Cooperation signed on March 9, 2007, in Sao Paulo. Bilaterally, Brazil and the U.S. continue to advance cooperation on biofuels research and development.
Since Presidents Bush and Lula met on March 31, 2007, six high-level visits have occurred to bolster bilateral cooperation on biofuels research. The two countries welcomed the upcoming visit of a team of Brazilian scientists to the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Agriculture Laboratories the week of September 10, 2007.
To further advance cooperation on biofuels research, officials agreed to explore professorial and graduate student exchanges between leading U.S. and Brazilian Universities.
In third countries, U.S. and Brazilian officials underscored the transformative
role of biofuels in advancing energy security and promoting sustainable development. The United States and Brazil, in cooperation with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Organization of American States (OAS), and the UN Foundation (UNF), have begun feasibility studies in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and El Salvador, and have completed feasibility work in St. Kitts and Nevis. These studies will be used to assist governments and provide funding for public-private sector activities to develop local capacity for biofuels production. Officials from each of the initial four target countries are visiting the U.S. in August to attend a USDA-sponsored biofuels conference.
Globally, the United States and Brazil have agreed to a roadmap to achieve greater compatibility of biofuels standards and codes by the end of 2007. This work is being carried out initially by the industry and standards organizations of the U.S., Brazil, and European Union under the International Biofuels Forum(IBF). A report on this work will be presented at the next IBF meeting scheduled to take place in India this fall. IBF members include Brazil, the United States, the European Commission, China, India, and South Africa.
To further advance the public-private sector nature of the U.S.-Brazil Biofuels
Partnership, the two countries agreed to create an advisory committee to the
steering group that will comprise private sector and international organizations. The two countries reiterated the high priority both attach to continued rapid progress implementing the goals of the partnership, and agreed to meet later this year in the United States.-