Cancun Climate '10

In Cancun, an American company runs on biofuel

Scott Tong Dec 7, 2010
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Cancun Climate '10

In Cancun, an American company runs on biofuel

Scott Tong Dec 7, 2010
HTML EMBED:
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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.

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