Specialists gathered at the Global Collaboration on Energy event
in São Paulo. (Courtesy: DuPont)
With appropriate investments and public policies, ethanol can play a leading and strategic role in the diversification of the global energy matrix, as world demand for the biofuel is already projected to increase 40% by 2035. These were two of the main issues addressed by the President of the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA), Marcos Jank, in a debate that brought together specialists on issues linked to renewable energy during the event Global Collaboration on Energy, organized by DuPont in partnership with the British network, BBC, on March 20 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
“The future of energy is not petroleum, but renewable energy. And ethanol has the potential to become the most viable energy resource of all, if the right policies are put in place to offer security and infrastructure for its production,” Jank pointed out. As he covered the potential of ethanol to help diversify energy sources, he focused on Brazilian sugarcane ethanol, considered the most efficient in reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GGEs) - compared to gasoline, cane ethanol reduces emissions by up to 90%. “More than 100 developing nations could be providing biofuels to the world instead of only 20 oil-producing countries” UNICA’s CEO emphasized.
Also on the panel was the Professor Emeritus at the University of São Paulo and former Minister for the Environment, José Goldemberg. He agreed with the idea of investing in the clean energy sources as a way to reorganize the geopolitics of the planet. “Apart from the environmental issue, fossil fuels, which are expected to end in four or five decades, are distributed unevenly around the world. Most of it is in the Middle East, a region overwhelmed by conflicts. If we do not invest in sustainable options we will end up without energy,” he observes.
The Executive Vice-President and Chief Innovation Officer at DuPont, Thomas Connelly, opened the event pointing to Brazil as a possible leader in the process of diversification of global energy sources, since it already gets more than 45% of all the energy it consumes from renewable sources. It also runs the most successful large scale program for the production and use of biofuels in the world. “I can’t think of anywhere better than in Brazil to discuss the global challenges in our energy future” said Connelly, adding that his company, DuPont, has been working to “achieve the parity tariff in solar and wind energy, as well as to unite efforts to help these biofuels to become highly competitive at the global level.”
Organized jointly by DuPont and the BBC, the panel discussion kicked off production of the second season of Horizon, a program broadcast by the BBC in more than 200 countries which airs this year as of April 7 hosted by renowned British anchor Adam Shaw. The series continues its journey throughout the world in search for solutions to the biggest challenges of the planet, specifically those related to protecting the environment, food and energy production. Other participants in the program recorded in São Paulo were the President of DuPont for Latin America, Eduardo Wanick, and Felipe Faria, Institutional and Government Relations Manager at the Brazilian chapter of the Green Building Council (GBC-Brasil), a non-government organization active in more than 25 countries that promotes sustainability in the construction industry.