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EU Biofuel Panic Threatens Planet - Brazil Envoy

Source:  Copyright 2008, Reuters
Date:  September 22, 2008
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Europe's heated debate over biofuels risks weakening one of the world's best tools to fight climate change and one of the developing world's best hopes for economic growth, Brazil's ambassador to the EU said on Friday.

"What I fear is the debate over biofuels has taken on a very emotional character and we have somewhere got lost in this emotion," said Maria Celina de Azevedo Rodrigues.

"Once, biofuels were seen as the salvation, and all of a sudden they are the devil."

Environmentalists charge that biofuels made from grains and oil seeds have pushed up food prices and forced subsistence farmers to expand agricultural land by hacking into rainforests and draining wetlands.

"Right now, biofuels is one of the answers to at least slowing climate change," said Rodrigues.

"If we continue to condemn biofuels, by the time we find something else, the patient will be dead. We could kill the patient through excess prudence."

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