Angela Merkel has warned that biofuel production should not come at the expense of the environment. Speaking at the start of a Latin America tour in Brazil, the world’s largest ethanol exporter, the German chancellor said it was also the responsibility of rich nations to help protect the environment.
“Biofuels will play a role in protecting the climate and in the diversification of fuel if we can prove that it is a sustainable cultivation,” she said.
Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva assured Merkel of his country’s commitment to protecting the Amazon.
“We are not troglodytes, we understand that the preservation of the Amazon cannot only fall under Brazil’s interests,” said Lula da Silva.
Biofuels have come under criticism by some who say they are far less green than it appears and that converting land to provide fuel for cars is pushing up prices of food crops and meat.
Germany recently postponed a planned increase of ethanol consumption, but said the decision was linked to the cost of fuel and not environmental concerns.