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Viewing cable 06BRASILIA1935, USG TALKS ETHANOL WITH THE BRAZILIAN PRESIDENCY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06BRASILIA1935 2006-09-13 23:11 2011-01-12 00:12 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Brasilia
VZCZCXRO2468
PP RUEHAO RUEHCD RUEHGA RUEHGD RUEHGR RUEHHA RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG
RUEHNL RUEHQU RUEHRD RUEHRG RUEHRS RUEHTM RUEHVC
DE RUEHBR #1935/01 2562340
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 132340Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6630
INFO RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 2847
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 8013
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 5425
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0313
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0222
RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RUCPDO/USDOC WASHDC
RHEBAAA/USDOE WASHDC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 001935 

SIPDIS 

SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS DEPT FOR GMANUEL AND JMIOTKE 
PLEASE PASS TO DOE SLADISLAW AND KFREDRIKSEN 

E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: TRGY SENV ENRG KSCA ETRD EAGR BR
SUBJECT: USG TALKS ETHANOL WITH THE BRAZILIAN PRESIDENCY 

BRASILIA 00001935 001.2 OF 002 

1. (SBU) Summary. Greg Manuel of the Department of State (DoS) and Sarah Ladislaw of the Department of Energy (DoE) accompanied by Morgan Perkins and Matthew Golden of Mission Brazil met with Alessandro Teixeira, President of the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Development (ABDI) on September 5. The meeting aimed to bridge the gap between the MFA and Presidency with the understanding that Dilma Rousseff, Lula's Chief of Staff, will take the lead role in fomenting Brazil's biofuel policy. Teixeira underscored this sentiment, repeatedly professing that Rousseff was in charge of overall biofuel coordination in Brazil, followed by her Deputy, Tereza Campello, and then himself. He explained that any proposed cooperation should go through him or Campello. This meetings was held on the margins of the September 5 Ethanol Forum meetings (reported septel). End Summary. 

2. (U) In opening, Teixeira acknowledged that Rousseff had received a paper from Ambassador Sobel outlining the USG's biofuel strategy and noted the GoB's interest in exploring third-markets. He continued to explain that a meeting earlier with Secretary Gutierrez had focused on Caribbean development and that Brazil's Finance Minister Furlan would raise the third-market issue with Gutierrez during their planned October meeting in Washington. Ladislaw responded positively expressing the USG's appreciation for Furlan's assistance in securing Brazilian participation at the DoE-hosted Trinidad and Tobago energy conference. 

3. (U) Manuel proceeded to detail the USG's three-pillared strategy for biofuels, beginning with the Ethanol/Biofuel Forum which had just concluded earlier that day. Teixeira responded that Brazil maintains a definitive strategy where ethanol and biodiesel represent two distinct and separate policies, although he failed to elaborate further. Manuel responded that the two were not incompatible, explaining that both themes could simultaneously promote effective cooperation. He also related the Ethanol Forum's consensus to expand the threshold of discussions to include biofuels as a whole and posited that the Forum provided an outlet to move forward in a concrete, energized fashion. 

4. (U) Ladislaw continued, detailing the USG's strategy for S&T cooperation, the second pillar. She expressed interest in understanding Brazil's research strategy and how it allocates it funding, while highlighting the potential utility of the DoE-MME (Ministry of Mines and Energy) working group as a vehicle to explore potential areas for mutually beneficial cooperation. Presenting the example of the NIST-INMETRO conference on standards, she stressed the value of putting scientists together to share ideas. In response, Teixeira highlighted his awareness of the United States' ethanol production problems due to the relative inefficiency of corn. That said, he clarified the GoB's desire to invest heavily in cellulosic research, even if ethanol produced from sugarcane will dominate the market for the next fifty years. He also expressed a wish to know what USG institutions dominated biofuel research, presenting Embrapa's newly formed Agroenergia and a public private partnership involving CTC as prime Brazilian examples. Manuel explained that NREL and Berkeley National Labs led the U.S. in biofuel research, but clarified that private industry was responsible for a majority of investment. He also echoed the USG's readiness to send a team of experts to Brazil to meet with colleagues, identify unknowns and determine potential spheres of cooperation. 

5. (SBU) Discussion digressed into a variety of private sector initiatives including the relationship between the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the NYSE, and the role of private investment in the form of hedge funds, venture capitalists and investment banks. Teixeira, meanwhile, commented that Ambassador Sobel would like to set up a joint program between the U.S. and Brazil (Teixeira clarified neither the provenance of his information nor specific details to what this meant). Expanding on private sector interest in the field, Manuel noted the 40% growth in private investment into biofuels (in the U.S.) over the last year totaling more that USD 1 billion. 

6. (SBU) The conversation then segued into third-market development and the role that biofuels can play in catalyzing economic development in weak states to provide economic and geopolitical stability. Manuel noted that the USG and Brazil are the Western Hemispheres gorillas and, therefore, natural allies to build up the hemisphere; Brazil through cane, the U.S. through cellulosic processes. Manuel then laid out the USG's target countries in the region, explaining the rationale of splitting up the targets 

BRASILIA 00001935 002.2 OF 002 

regionally to circumvent an over-reliance on one country or region and thereby decreasing the chances for failure. Teixeira responded by changing the focus to India and China, those countries' regional development interests and the EU's desire to develop Africa. Manuel argued the need to focus or face failure. While developing markets in China and India are obviously the best choices for quickly increasing the volume of ethanol in the marketplace, the USG he stated, believes that working with Brazil to set up regional models/successful pilots would both facilitate and expedite replication outside of each country's sphere of influence. 

7. (U) Teixeira explained that Brazil could be interested in the 7 countries Manuel suggested but noted that each would require feasibility studies. He also asserted that any conversation about the commoditization of Ethanol should take into account India and China. He explained that Brazil wants to be an international player and, therefore, would be more likely to choose high-profile countries with a degree of international impact. He declared that many of the countries the U.S. presented are important from a social but not from an economic perspective. In response, Manuel noted the importance of thinking globally while clarifying that impacts must be viewed from many levels. An area where each country can act quickly and maintains a comparative advantage provides lessons learned. It is also, he explained, easier to act in a region where the political leverage exists to motivate a country to adopt an ethanol standard. That said, Manuel also conveyed the USG's willingness to explore other options. 

8. (SBU) In closing, Teixeira explained that the GoB is "reorganizing their house". Rousseff and the Casa Civil are centralizing biofuel politics and trying to determine where each GoB entity fits into the equation. Manuel here expressed the USG's desire for a quick decision from the GoB. Teixeira replied that he would pass along the information at a policy coordination meeting the next week. 

9. (SBU) Comment: This meeting reaffirmed that Brazil's Presidency, much like its MFA, is extremely engaged in the cooperative process. It is clear, however, that the GoB is in the middle of an internal shake-up and not in a position to immediately respond to the USG's proposal. One certainty to come out of the meeting is the need for future contact on the subject to include the Casa Civil. There also appears to be an overarching, international emphasis to Rousseff's biofuel policy. While Teixeira responded positively to the USG proposal, it is very likely that the Casa Civil will suggest expanding bilateral efforts to include projects outside of the Western Hemisphere. Whether or not Brazil has the means to fund such activities remains to be seen. 

SOBEL