Webcast Recap

On April 29, 2011, the Brazil Institute hosted a panel of experts to discuss renewable energies and policies in Brazil. Barbara da Costa de Oliveira, Supervisor, Global Sustainability at the Fundação Getúlio Vargas, opened this discussion forum by presenting the latest Getúlio Vargas Businesses for Climate Program publication, entitled “Public Policy Proposals by the Business Sector for a Low Carbon Economy in Brazil.” She underscored that although many would argue that Brazil’s energy matrix already makes it a low carbon economy, this publication outlines a way for Brazil to remain on this track.  Ms. Oliveira explained that this publication is part policy paper, part technical study, and part letter to the Brazilian government.  The EPC reviews data and served as a forum for consolidating policy proposals.  The objective, Oliveira said, was to strengthen the competitiveness of the Brazilian economy in a way that acknowledged the “worst externality”: climate change.  The EPC recognizes that the atmosphere is a scarce resource that needs to be valued.  In light of the far reaching implications of atmospheric alteration, the climate change debate is one of strategic economic importance. Furthermore, given that many international actors and trade partners are increasingly conscious of sustainability, trade barriers could also be a potential problem, which is addressed in this publication.

Next Costa de Oliveira introduced the CPF, a network hosted by Cambridge University with branches in 15 countries around the world.  Its first mandate is management and capacity building of a new energy economy. It counts on 39 corporate members from diverse sectors of the economy, including the banking, food, telecommunications, and paper and pulp industries.

In terms of its carbon emissions profile, Brazil differs notably from the United States and Europe in that its energy and transportation sectors account for only 15 and 6 percent of emissions, respectively. Yet the study also found that there is room for technical, market, and intermodal integration improvements.  These improvements are broken down into two categories: increased use of renewable fuels, and conservation and more efficient energy use.

Marcelo Cavalcanti Guerra, Superintendent, Union for the Sugar and Ethanol Industry of Pernambuco, spoke next.  He first noted that the Northeast and Center South regions in Brazil have different crop production seasons, but then focused on the sugar cane production in the Northeast in terms of its potential energy offer in the form of ethanol.  He also reviewed the potential for biomass and hydropower, pointing out the states of Piauí and Maranhão in particular.

Rosangela Moreira de Araujo, Superintendent of Biofuels and Product Quality, National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels, introduced the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Biocombustibles.  After reviewing the institutional evolution, Moreira de Araujo explained that the ANP is linked to, but autonomous from, the Ministry of Energy.  Its responsibilities are to “regulate, contract and supervise country development”, focusing, Moreira stressed, on consumer rights.  They also work to attract investors and foster biofuel use.

Luiz Antonio Rossi, Researcher, Solar and Wind Renewable Energy, Interdisciplinary Center of Energy Planning, University of Campinas, limited his comments to a brief introduction of himself and his institution.  He is a researcher and professor of Solar and Wind Renewable Energy at the Interdisciplinary Center of Energy Planning within the University of Campinas.  The University of Campinas in the state of São Paulo is one of the best technical centers of research and education in Latin America.

To conclude, Eduardo Azevedo Rodrigues, the Executive Secretary of Energy at the Secretariat of Water and Energy Resources in Pernambuco showed a video about the port of Suape in Pernambuco. “Pernambuco is [not only] a beautiful place to visit,” he said, “but also [a great place] to make money."

Drafted by Jillian Macnaughton,

Paulo Sotero, Director, Brazil Institute