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World Biofuels Symposium
November 13-15, 2005
Beijing, China

2nd Annual Canadian Renewable Fuels Summit
December 13-15, 2005
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hosted by:
Candadian Renewable Fuels Association

National Biodiesel Conference & Expo 2006
February 5-8, 200
San Diego, California
National Biodiesel Board

11th Annual National Ethanol Conference: "Policy & Marketing"
February 20-22, 200
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Sponsored by:
Renewable Fuels Association

22nd Annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo
June 20-23, 200
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

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Posted on  

September 3, 2002

World oil summit long on pledges to better protect the environment

The Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) -- The world's oil producers said they must do more to protect the environment at a summit in Brazil held against the backdrop of a possible U.S. attack on Iraq that could disrupt oil supplies.

More than 3,000 delegates from 59 oil-producing nations and companies opened the World Petroleum Congress Monday, amid pledges to safeguard the environment, seek cleaner-burning fuels and reduce the gases blamed for global warming.

"Oil companies have to continuously seek out new, alternative ways of doing business which will have the least impact on the environment," India's oil minister, Ram Naik, told the convention.

Delegates were clearly trying to rid the industry of its image as an enemy of the environment.

For the first time, environmental groups such as Greenpeace, Conservation International and the World Wildlife Fund were invited to the meetings. A recycling center for the tons of garbage produced by the congress was even set up at the site.

Naik urged governments and oil companies to share "clean" technologies and redouble efforts to protect the environment. He said that India, with a market of nearly 1 billion people, has followed Brazil's lead in mixing gasoline with ethanol to reduce emissions of polluting greenhouse gases.

Other delegates pledged to seek cleaner-burning fuels and reduce the gases blamed for global warming.

"It is no longer possible for any of us to carry out our oil or gas exploitation activities without proper regard to the broader issues of environmental protection," said Lew Watts, group managing director of Shell Sustainable Development and Latin America.

But for some groups, the environment-friendly spin was simply for show.

"I think it's greenwash," said Frank Guggenheim, executive director of Greenpeace in Brazil. "We are participating so they can't say we're against dialogue, but I don't think the people at the conference are serious about protecting the environment ... They talk about environment, but from the point of view of accidents, you have to be a little skeptical."

Norwegian oil minister Einar Steensnaes said not enough has been done to implement the promises to protect the environment issued at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. A followup summit, in Johannesburg, South Africa, ends Wednesday.

"Fossil fuels, at least for the next 20 or 30 years, will constitute the main source of energy in meeting increased global demand," Steensnaes said. "Coal, oil and natural gas all contribute in varying to degrees to ... increasing the level of greenhouse gases."

"Ten years after the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, we once again need to address the links between energy and the environment," he said.

An OPEC meeting on Sept. 19 in Osaka, Japan, is to decide future production levels for the oil cartel.

Oil officials fear a conflict in the Middle East could disrupt supplies from the oil-rich region. Last week, oil prices rose to around $30 a barrel amid fears of a U.S. attack on Iraq.

Other oil producers could raise output to cover the shortfall.

Ali Rodriguez, the president of Petroleos de Venezuela, said Monday that Venezuela has the capacity to greatly increase its current oil output. But he said any additional pumping would depend on the decisions of OPEC, which opposes an increase in the quota system and is likely to maintain that standing at their next meeting.

Among the delegates were energy ministers from Great Britain, Algeria, Canada, Cuba and Venezuela. Also present were top executives from oil giants such as ChevronTexaco Corp., ExxonMobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell.


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