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Biofuel buzz going global?

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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: So far the buzz over biofuels has stayed within the borders of top producers such as the United States and Brazil. But a new report out today looks at the potential for fuels like ethanol to go global. From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk Sam Eaton has more.

SAM EATON: The Worldwatch Institute and the German Government teamed up to produce an extensive report. It assesses the potential impacts of a global commodity market for biofuels. Worldwatch president, Christopher Flavin says ethanol production could transform the economies of countries like China and Columbia.

CHRISTOPHER FLAVIN: This could really mark a new beginning for energy policy in a whole bunch of developing countries that don't have any oil but do have enormous potential in terms of their agricultural resource base to be major biofuels producers.

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz is one of the speakers at today's official release of the report. His presence is sparking buzz over the bank's potential interest in funding biofuel projects in developing countries.

Flavin says turning biofuels into a globally traded product has to be done carefully to avoid a dangerous collision between two essential commodities: food and energy.

I'm Sam Eaton for Marketplace.

About the author

Sam Eaton is an independent radio and television journalist. His reporting on complex environmental issues from climate change to population growth has taken him all over the United States and the world.
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