Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), joined today Prof. Dr. Herbert Kohler, Chief Environmental Officer of DaimlerChrysler and Vice President of Body and Powertrain Research, and Dr. Michael J. Inacker, Vice President External Affairs and Public Policy at DaimlerChrysler, to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at progressing towards sustainable mobility.

"Sustainable Mobility is an important goal. In light of increasing demand for transport services and its impacts on both energy security and the environment – only to mention climate change and air quality - we need to change our production and consumption patterns. We can only tackle this challenge in a joint effort and partnership between developed and developing countries, and between governments, private business and the civil society," says Prof. Töpfer. "This cooperation with DaimlerChrysler is an example of public-private-partnerships. The memorandum of understanding outlines the framework for continuing this cooperation and for developing and implementing strategies and concrete projects helping to reduce the negative impacts of mobility while responding to transportation needs."

Among other things, the MoU regulates the scope of cooperation and specifies certain sustainability projects that DaimlerChrysler and UNEP will be focusing on between 2006 and 2008. "By signing the memorandum of understanding, we have expressed our clear commitment to intensifying our successful partnership with UNEP," says Prof. Kohler. "We intend to use the 'Magdeburg Declaration' as a starting point and focus our attention on biofuels - an area in which we can make a particularly big contribution. Along with the development of suitable engine technologies, this is a crucial factor for ensuring the market success of biofuels. Above and beyond these goals, we will also endeavor to convince everyone involved in this issue to better exploit the potential of biofuels." In the Magdeburg Declaration of November 2005, DaimlerChrysler and UNEP stated that they would work in the interest of sustainable mobility by supporting activities that more thoroughly and consistently tap the potential of biofuels than has been the case to date. In the Magdeburg Declaration, DaimlerChrysler also committed itself to creating the technologies to ensure that vehicles will be able to run on fuels with up to ten percent admixtures of biodiesel or bioethanol.

More specifically, the company plans to conduct engine tests and make further enhancements to its technology in order to double the content of biofuel in normal diesel or gasoline from five percent to ten percent. In addition, DaimlerChrysler and UNEP will continue to promote the Jatropha project in India aimed at producing pure biodiesel from the fruit of the jatropha plant.

UNEP and DaimlerChrysler also plan to intensify their collaboration in the development of second-generation biofuels, which are produced using the biomass-to-liquid (BTL) process. The two organizations thus agreed to participate in relevant conferences and to support projects for the production of BTL fuels.

UNEP and DaimlerChrysler will continue to call on producers of biomass for biofuels to take environmental and sustainability aspects into account in their cultivation processes. To this end, the two organizations will support the development of a "sustainability seal" for the cultivation of biomass for biofuels.

DaimlerChrysler and UNEP will continue to hold the biennial Magdeburg Environmental Forum, which serves as a platform for experts from politics, business and science to discuss issues related to sustainable mobility. "Mobility is one of society's basic needs that has to be reconciled with business interests and the requirements of environmental sustainability," says Dr. Inacker. "This social responsibility is one that automakers, in particular, face time and again. In line with this strategy, we seek to engage in a dialogue with all stakeholders in order to ensure efficient use of funding and the development of optimal solutions in the interest of sustainable mobility."