• iCS - Climate and Society

The energy of efficiency

Instituto E+ Energy launched the study “Energy and Development in Brazil,” by José Goldemberg, in a debate between the author and Fernando Henrique Cardoso; the publication narrates the importance of energy efficiency

In an online debate involving the former President of the Republic, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, and José Goldemberg, Secretary of the Environment of the Presidency of the Republic during Rio-92, and a former Minister of Education, Institute E+ Energy Transition launched the study “Energy and Development in Brazil,” written by Goldemberg, who is currently professor emeritus at the Institute for Energy and Environment at USP. The study, with the support of iCS, revisits the article published in 1998 by the same author, in which he demonstrated the impact of energy on social development and how Brazil could obtain the required energy and thereby reach the level of quality of the European Union (EU) in the basic services offered to the population.

In the current document, Goldemberg shows the required energy estimate so that, by 2040, Brazilians will have a standard of living that is comparable to the EU countries. The publication offers a special emphasis on the role of efficiency in the use of these resources and also on the adoption of advanced technologies, which are capable of avoiding the polluting trajectory used in the past by the industrialized countries. And he emphasizes: Brazil's development will only be possible if the country guides its public policies towards the increase of energy efficiency.

During the webinar, the professor explained that the Brazilian energy system has been based since 1930 on producing energy, with an “intuition” that energy and the GDP grow together. In the early 1990s, he explains, the belief was refined in the United States and Europe, with the perception that energy could be used more efficiently – and the 1998 article was written in the wake of this concept.

FHC, in turn, also highlighted the importance of energy efficiency. According to him, progress happens when efficiency is increased, and not the supply – with more agility in the production/delivery and offering cheaper prices so that more people can use the service with the same amount of expended effort. To achieve this, he explains, public policies are fundamental.

Read the study here and watch the full webinar here.

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