Upcoming ‘Virtual Roundtable’ on The Future of Energy Is Key Opportunity to Better Inform a Global Audience About Existing, Sustainable Options

By Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association unica, PRNE
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

SAO PAULO, November 17, 2011 -

A live online discussion on how to achieve long-term global energy goals, organized by The Economist Conferences and scheduled for Friday, November 18th, is the type of gathering that needs to happen more frequently so that key, sustainable energy strategies already available, can be widely discussed and better understood. The “Global Energy Conversation - Part II” will bring together simultaneously leading energy experts in London, Washington and Sao Paulo, with a worldwide online audience of academics, the corporate world and the media able to participate with questions and comments.

“Energy discussions often focus on possibilities that seem ideal but will not be available for many years to come, while existing, proven and recognized renewable solutions that in fact reduce greenhouse gas emissions and cut energy costs don’t receive enough attention” said Marcos Jank, President and CEO of the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) and one of the roundtable participants from Sao Paulo.

Because of a lack of information, Jank argues that long-available and efficient options, like sugarcane ethanol widely used as a motor fuel in Brazil for decades, often face outdated criticisms and questions that have been answered many times over. “Brazilian ethanol is recognized in numerous studies as a clean, renewable fuel that indeed cuts greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 90% compared to gasoline, and yet it is barely traded around the world because of numerous tariff and non-tariff barriers, while petroleum-based products face no obstacles,” he added, pointing out that Brazil’s ethanol project is a viable solution for more than 100 countries around the world that already grow sugarcane.

The ‘virtual roundtable’ organized by The Economist will examine both technological and political situations that can help achieve long-term energy goals. Jank hopes to be able to discuss not only sugarcane ethanol as a global energy option , but also the increasing use of bioelectricity, generated by sugarcane processing mills by burning bagasse - the fibrous residue that remains after sugarcane is crushed - in high-performance boilers. The procedure makes all cane processing facilities self-sufficient in electricity, while many are now producing a surplus for distribution through the national grid.

The event is the second in a series launched on June 28th, when more than 1,600 participants from 91 different countries signed on to join world energy experts in a live, interactive discussion on the future of energy.

Along with Marcos Jank, who will be positioned in Sao Paulo, speakers in Part II of the Energy Conversation include: Royal Dutch Shell Chief Energy Adviser Wim Thomas and World Energy Council Executive Chair of the 2011 Energy Policies Assessment Report, Joan MacNaughton, both participating from London; Pembina Institute Executive Director Ed Whittingham, Opower President Alex Laskey and Capital E President Gregory Kats, positioned in London; former Sao Paulo State Environment Secretary and University of Sao Paulo Professor Emeritus Jose Goldemberg, Inovah Energy Director Paulo Puterman and Brazilian National Oil, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency Director, Allan Kardec Duailibe, who will take part from Sao Paulo.

The event will be moderated from London by the Editorial Director and Chief Economist of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Robin Bew. The “Global Energy Conversation - Part II” begins at 09:30 Eastern Time (Washington, D.C.), 12:30 Brazilian Standard Time (Sao Paulo) and 14:30 GMT (London). Registration for the live event is free and can be completed on the Economist Conferences website, at:



The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) represents the top producers of sugar and ethanol in the country’s South-Central region, especially the state of Sao Paulo, which accounts for about 60% of the country’s sugarcane harvest and of total ethanol production. UNICA develops position papers, statistics and specific research in support of Brazil’s sugar, ethanol and bioelectricity sectors. In 2010, Brazil produced an estimated 620 million metric tonnes of sugarcane, which yielded 37.8 million tonnes of sugar and 27.4 billion litres of ethanol, making it the number-one sugarcane grower and sugar producer in the world, and the second-largest ethanol producer on the planet, behind the United States.

CDN Corporate Communications
Rosa Webster - +55-11-3643-2707 - rosa.webster@cdn.com.br
Andrea Benedetti - +55-11-3643-2730 - andrea.benedetti@cdn.com.br


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