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World Bank funds Brazil’s ethanol craze

Grainne Ryder

July 31, 2008

The World Bank is a leading financier and political promoter of Brazil’s campaign for sugar cane based ethanol. Currently, the Bank’s private sector arm, International Finance Corporation, is lending about US$200 million for three ethanol projects in Sao Paulo
state. Meanwhile, Friends of the Earth Brazil and farmers’ groups have opposed the projects saying they threaten small farmers and food production for local markets. In a recent speech, Bank president Robert Zoellick said the expansion of an ethanol market could help mitigate climate change “if we remove trade barriers in developed economies.”

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