BIO Statement on the Launch of the Global Bioenergy Partnership

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 29, 2006) – Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), released the following statement on the opening in Rome of the U.N. Commission for Sustainable Development’s Global Bioenergy Partnership Secretariat:

“BIO shares with the Global Bioenergy Partnership the mission of supporting the environmentally and economically sustainable production of alternative fuels from agriculture. Biofuels such as ethanol made from both grains and crop residues or energy crops can reduce worldwide reliance on oil, produce income for farmers and rural economies, and reduce net carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.

“Biomass has the potential to supply a very large share of the world’s energy needs – by one analysis, as much as 60 percent of total worldwide energy use. Renewable agricultural resources are readily available to meet this level of energy production. Biotech breakthroughs mean that agricultural fields could become the energy fields of the future. With the help of agricultural and industrial biotechnology, farmers can harvest two crops from every field—a food crop and a biomass crop for fuel production. The United Nations can do a great deal to promote biofuels development worldwide.

“Worldwide, fossil fuel production and use account for 60 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions affecting climate change. Biofuels hold the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 90 percent.

“BIO supports the production of ethanol from all feedstocks. Agricultural biotechnology is helping to increase corn yields, while industrial biotechnology is helping to convert corn starch and crop residues into ethanol more efficiently. With ongoing advances in biotechnology, biofuels can help the world meet its growing energy needs. Biofuels can help America meet nearly half its transportation-fuel needs by the middle of this century.”

BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.