December 14, 2007

China and U.S. increase cooperation on biofuels

Beijing, China – The U.S. Departments of Energy and Agriculture, and China’s National Development and Reform Commission, have agreed to strengthen and expand their cooperation on biofuels production and use. The two countries have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the ultimate goal of significantly reducing fossil fuel consumption by increasing the use of clean, renewable fuels such as those derived from biomass.

“As the two largest energy consumers and automobile markets in the world, we are eager to strengthen cooperation with China to increase the use of renewable and alternative fuels to power our nation’s vehicles,” said Clay Sell, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy. “The United States and China face similar challenges to meet rapidly increasing energy demand and through our joint efforts, we are partnering to maximize our nation’s resources and expertise, as well as increase energy security, confront climate change and promote economic growth.”

China is the world’s third-largest ethanol producer, behind the U.S. and Brazil, and is the first Asian country to sign a biofuels agreement with the U.S. to accelerate the development of second-generation biofuels. The MOU specifically encourages cooperation in biomass and feedstock production and sustainability, conversion technology and engineering, bio-based product development and utilization standards, and rural and agricultural development strategies.

China became the world’s second-largest consumer of vehicles and the third-largest producer of vehicles in 2006. It currently has approximately 31 million passenger cars on the road, with a projection of approximately 200 million in 20 years.

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