labels: industry - general, oil & gas, economy - general
Biofuels can break WTO deadlock, says Ted Turnernews
25 September 2006

US tycoon and CNN founder Ted Turner says a focus on biofuels could break the current deadlock that has stalled the current five-year long Doha round because of a disagreements over agricultural subsidies and tariffs.

Speaking at a World Trade Organisation forum, Turner said massive demand for plant-based fuels could help farmers and reduce their need for state aid and therefore subsidies and tariffs should be replaced by government support for biofuels.

Turner was speaking as chairman of the United Nations Foundation, which was set up in 1998 after his $1 billion to support UN causes. The foundation is promoting the production and use of biofuels in developing countries and Turner wants governments to do more to attract investment for biofuels.

"Today, farmers can grow crops for food, fuel and fibre," he said. "The global demand for biofuels is huge and rising. That's why I'm confident that in the near future, farmers' incomes will be assured, not by subsidies and tariffs, but by market forces."

Biofuels, which are a renewable energy source made from agricultural produce or its by-products, including manure, rape seed, soya beans, cane sugar and palm oil, include ethanol, which is used in cars and for cooking, and biodiesel, which is used for trucks and generators.

He said that by investing in biofuels, developing countries could produce their own domestic transportation fuels, cut energy costs, improve public health, create new jobs in the rural economy and ultimately build export markets.

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Biofuels can break WTO deadlock, says Ted Turner