The president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, announced last week that the addition of 5% biodiesel to the diesel consumed in Brazil has been advanced in three years. The so-called B5, which was expected to start being used in 2013, will already be compulsory in 2010.
"It is a less polluting fuel that generates more jobs. We have all reasons in the world to acclaim it. Brazil may present itself as a great global reference in technological knowledge and productive capacity of the fuel," said Lula.
Expectations, according to the Presidency of the Republic, are for B5 to expand production of biodiesel to 2.4 billion liters in 2010, strengthening the Brazilian world leadership in renewable energy in commercial scale.
To Lula, the country is now globally respected and it is necessary to make use of what he called the "golden moment" for transformation of the future into "solid" social and economic policies.
The minister of Mines and Energy, Edson Lobão, said that it is necessary to "make biodiesel come true". According to him, the country is going to benefit from the generation of jobs and income brought by production of biodiesel, not only from the lower emission of CO2 into the atmosphere.
The president recalled that the new mixture should also contribute to reducing the Brazilian imports of biodiesel. He pointed out that the country cannot continue depending just on soy. We have lost 28 years [since biodiesel was patented, in 1975]. This decision should already have been taken," he said.
Lula believes that the global economic crisis has come to "prove" that the State must be a regulator and, at the same time, a motivator. "This expands our responsibilities," he said, on suggesting that meetings about biodiesel take place at least once a year.
"If we do not move citizens, it will not happen. We have to say we want it, that we will buy it, that we are going to use it and what the incentive policy will be," he concluded.