Among the statements and agreements emerging from President Obama’s official visit to Brazil and meeting with President Dilma Rousseff were overall support for the US supporting “the rise of Brazil as a global power” as well as an agreement to launch a Strategic Energy Dialogue between the two countries.
By some estimates, noted President Obama, the oil Brazil recently discovered off its shores could amount to twice the reserves in the United States. “On energy, obviously, Brazil is a major player on the world stage,” said the US President.
We want to work with you. We want to help with technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely, and when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers. At a time when we’ve been reminded how easily instability in other parts of the world can affect the price of oil, the United States could not be happier with the potential for a new, stable source of energy.
Now, even as we focus on oil in the near term, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the only long-term solution to the world’s dependence on fossil fuels is clean energy technology. And that’s why the United States and Brazil are deepening our cooperation on biofuels and why we’re launching a US-Brazil Green Economy Partnership, because we know that the development of clean energy is one of the best ways to create new jobs and industries in both our nations.
Already, more than half of the vehicles in Brazil run on biofuels. Nearly 80 percent of your electricity comes from hydropower. In the United States, we’ve jumpstarted a clean energy industry and we’ll soon have the capacity to produce 40 percent of the world’s advanced batteries. If we can start sharing these new technologies, and leverage private investment from businesses like the ones in this room, we can grow our economies and clean our environment by making, using, trading, selling clean energy products all over the world. That is a win for both our nations.—President Obama
Brazil and the US will expand their existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to advance cooperation on biofuels, signed in 2007, to include a new partnership for the development of aviation biofuels.
Key goals in the agreement include developing sustainable aviation biofuels as an important means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, establishing common standards and specifications, and strengthening private sector partnerships. Various companies are developing aviation fuels based on sugarcane, including a three-way partnership between Brazilian regional jet manufacturer Embraer, engine manufacturer General Electric and California biotech company Amyris. In 2012, the trio intends to stage the first-ever flight using jet fuel produced from sugarcane, using an Embraer aircraft equipped with GE engines and owned by Brazil’s Azul Airlines.
A clause in the leaders’ statements, noted by Marcos Jank, President and CEO of the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA), called on the two countries to work to “prevent international barriers to biofuels trade and development.” Jank interpreted that as a recognition that the days of the ethanol tariff in the US are numbered.