At a Capitol Hill conference yesterday to discuss the findings of a new global study on biofuels, World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz spoke about the importance of expanding the large-scale production of these fuels—which include ethanol and biodiesel—in a world where 1.6 billion people lack access to basic energy supplies.
Biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel can significantly reduce global dependence on oil, according to a new report by the Worldwatch Institute, released in collaboration with the German Agencies for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and Renewable Resources (FNR).
In 2005, Brazil produced 16.5 billion liters of fuel ethanol (45.2 percent of the world's total) with the United States a close second at 16.2 billion liters, or 44.5 percent of the total. Ethanol provides roughly 40 percent of Brazil's non-diesel fuel and 2–3 percent of U.S. non-diesel fuel.
This year’s World Environment Day theme, “Deserts and Desertification,” celebrates the unique biological, ecological and cultural characteristics of the world’s dryland regions. Commemorated today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the event also aims to raise awareness of the problems associated with desertification, or the degradation of dryland areas.
In recognition of the grave perils of increasing desertification, the United Nations has declared 2006 the International Year of Deserts and Desertification and the theme of World Environment Day on June 5, 2006 is, "Don't Desert Drylands!".
Few fledgling nongovernmental organizations can claim the kind of success that Beijing-based Global Environmental Institute (GEI) has enjoyed: an operating budget of half a million dollars, a board comprised of internationally prominent environmental professionals, an impressive portfolio of projects, and even a spin-off organization.