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Angola passes law to spur biofuel production

Angola recently passed a law aimed at promoting domestic biofuel production. The South Africa Notes writes: “According to the Oil Minister, Botelho de Vasconcelos, the law will address Angola’s national energy needs and ‘preserve the environment given the diversification of the economy’ [sic]. ‘Bio-fuel production will also create jobs and build a renewable energy source and will allow regional integration and promote return of populations to rural areas’. Responding to questions, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development assured Parliament that there will be no conflict between food production and bio-fuels, as the latter will be explored in ‘marginal’ lands.”

Implications:

the Institute for the Future writes:
Angola’s announcement follows a broader trend among major oil-producing countries towards investment in alternative energy sources such as biofuels. Attempts at diversification will increase, as oil-producers attempt to create export industries which might be robust under a new climate regime.

Poor countries will face an increasing tension between the use of agricultural resources to produce food, and investments in biofuel production. This choice-- between investing in job creation and food security-- will have political ramifications.

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