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In Cancun, an American company runs on biofuel

A family pass through the stand of an important company set up at the Climate Village in Cancun, Mexico.

TEXT OF STORY

JEREMY HOBSON: The climate summit continues down in Cancun Mexico. And since a big agreement on fighting global warming is unlikely negotiators are starting to look for common ground on secondary tools to cope with climate change.

From the Marketplace Sustainability desk, Scott Tong reports on one American company and what it wants out of Cancun.


SCOTT TONG: John Perry Barlow came to Cancun, to network with business types here. He wants partners and investors for his startup: Algae Systems. It aspires to take sewage, combine it with sunlight and make fuel. And, along the way, take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

Sci fi? Actually they call it biofuel. And Barlow says the world needs fuel.

JOHN PERRY BARLOW: I'm a great believer in electric cars, but I don't think you're ever going to see an electric airplane. And I don't think you're going to see electric ships and I don't think you're going to see electric semi trucks.

He hopes to commercialize his fuel in three years. And soon after that, airlines plan to add plant-base fuel like his to their mix. Barlow's take on the climate talks? He basically holds his nose, and he's a sewage guy.

BARLOW: If I want to get depressed, I've got plenty of good ways to do it than to watch the world leaders flounder with a dimly perceived notion of their own very particular self interest trying to solve a global problem.

Truth be told, his product is linked to policy: it could benefit from caps or taxes on fossil fuels.

In Cancun, I'm Scott Tong for Marketplace.

About the author

Scott Tong is a correspondent for Marketplace’s sustainability desk, with a focus on energy, environment, resources, climate, supply chain and the global economy.
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JPB down with the statists in Cancun is like a milk bucket under a bull. Did you forget that you are a libertarian John? You don't belong down there! Oh I get it: since "you are going to hell in a bucket a least your going to enjoy the ride" eh?

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