Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has signed a measure to increase the nation’s biodiesel mandate to 7 percent, effective this November.
Brazil is currently one of more than 60 countries outside of the U.S. that has recently implemented or expanded mandates for blending biodiesel and/or ethanol in motor fuels.*
The country’s first biodiesel mandate was implemented in 2008 under the National Biodiesel Program, and called for 2 percent biodiesel blends in Brazilian motor fuels. The mandate was subsequently increased to 5 percent in 2010.
This year, under the new measure that Rousseff has signed, the biodiesel mandate will jump once again to 7 percent.
“We went from a situation in which, on the scale of countries producing biodiesel, we did not exist, to become today third in the world,” President Rousseff said, in an interview with Biodiesel Magazine.
The measure is expected to bring several benefits to Brazil.
According to Minister Edison Lobao, the measure should reduce the country’s carbon dioxide emissions by 23 million tons by 2020. The measure will also reduce the country’s diesel imports by 1.2 billion liters (317 million gallons) a year, resulting in nearly $500 million in savings. Family farmers should also benefit from the measure.
Biodiesel has long played an important role in Brazilian history. Below, we take a quick look at its history, starting in the 1950s, and end with a look at where its future is heading.