Sugarcane as a key element against Global Warming by agl27658

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									                                Sugarcane as a key element against Global Warming
                                   to be highlighted at Green Week in Brussels

São Paulo, June 23, 2009 – What does sugarcane have to do with Global Warming? Everything, when you
consider Brazil’s highly successful, 30-year experience with sugarcane as a feedstock for ethanol. In place
since the mid-70s, the largest program in the world to replace a fossil fuel with renewable energy has saved
some 600 million tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It would take 20 years for six billion trees to
achieve the same results.

Details of the Brazilian success story will be presented at a panel on Wednesday, June 24, during Green
Week, the largest annual conference on the European Union’s environmental policies, scheduled for June 23
to 26 in Brussels. At its booth in the exhibit area, the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA), the
largest organization representing Brazil’s sugar-energy industry, will also provide detailed information about
the efficiency of large-scale production and use of sugarcane ethanol as a motor fuel to reduce GHG
emissions. In Brazil, the biofuel replaces over half the country’s gasoline needs by volume, making gasoline
the alternative fuel. Flex-fuel cars introduced in 2003, which run on any mixture of gasoline and ethanol, now
account for 34% of Brazil’s entire light vehicle fleet and close to 90% of new light vehicle sales.

According to the senior international affairs advisor to UNICA’s president, Géraldine Kutas, the idea is to detail
the impressive performance of sugarcane in the production of ethanol and other value-added products, and its
subsequent impact on Brazil’s energy matrix: 46% of it is composed by renewable sources. ”Brazil could be a
low-carbon economy. Unfortunately, even though the country is a large renewable energy producer, it is also
the fourth largest emitter of carbon, because of deforestation. The fight against climate change requires
ambitious public policies and joint leadership from government and the public sector,” Kutas concludes.

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The International Energy Agency has recently confirmed that sugarcane ethanol can deliver a verifiable
reduction in GHG emissions that can exceed 100% when compared to the use of gasoline, provided that
surplus electricity generated in the production process is sent to distribution grids. All of Brazil’s nearly 400
sugar and ethanol mills are self-sufficient in electricity, and a growing number of mills are generating a surplus
by using cane straw and bagasse, which is what’s left of the sugarcane after it has been processed into
ethanol and sugar. More than 100 countries around the world already grow sugarcane, and UNICA advocates
that many of them can benefit from the same cane-based energy technology developed in Brazil.

During Green Week, Kutas will participate in the panel “Climate Change: What can be asked of emerging
economies?” sponsored by UNICA and organized by the Friends of Europe group, one of the main
independent think-tanks in Brussels. The panel is part of the simultaneous event “European Policy Summit -
Climate Change: keys to a concerted policy shift,” which will include presentations from the director-general of
the European Commission for Environment and Climate Change Strategy Job Delbeke, the president of the
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and founder of Development Alternatives – a Delhi-
based Non-Governmental Organization, Ashok Khosla, and the senior manager of the Center for Carbon
Capture and Storage of the South African National Energy Research Institute, Tony Surridge.

The event, organized by the DG Environment of the European Commission and themed “Climate Change: act
and adapt,” expects to bring 3500 participants from EU institutions, corporations, non-governmental
organizations, public officials and members of the scientific community and academia. For more information,
visit the website: http://greenweek2009.alligence.com/

UNICA’s presence at the event falls within the scope of the Apex-Brasil/UNICA project, launched in January of
2008. This partnership with the Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) of Brazil’s Federal
Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, is designed to globally promote Brazilian sugarcane-
based ethanol as a clean and renewable energy.

UNICA AT GREEN WEEK:
-Booth 45, 2nd floor, in the Exhibition area
http://www.unica.com.br/en


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  IEA, 2008. From 1st to 2nd generation biofuels technologies: An overview of current industry and R&D technologies, International
 Energy Agency, Paris.
ABOUT UNICA
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 50% of the
country’s sugarcane harvest and 60% of total ethanol production. UNICA develops position papers, statistics
and specific research in support of Brazil’s sugar, ethanol and bioelectricity sectors. In 2008, Brazil produced
an estimated 565 million metric tons of sugarcane, which yielded 31.3 million tons of sugar and 25.7 billion
liters (6.8 billion gallons) 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, which produces
ethanol from corn.

MORE INFORMATION:
UNICA - Brussels
Anna-Karin Friis, communications officer
(32) 489-325876 / annakarin@unica.com.br

CDN Corporate Communications – São Paulo, Brazil
Rosa Webster - (5511) 3643 2707 / rosa.webster@cdn.com.br
Marli Romanini - (5511) 3643 2756 / marli@cdn.com.br
Mariane dos Santos - (5511) 3643 2730 / mariane.santos@cdn.com.br

								
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