Ecologically sustainable growth? Brazilian prospects


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CRESI’s 12th March 2009 seminar given by Prof Mark Harvey (Sociology, University of Essex).

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Ecologically sustainable growth? Brazilian prospects

  1. 1. Ecologically sustainable growth? Brazilian prospects Mark Harvey Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation Department of Sociology University of Essex
  2. 2. “Peak petro-chemicals” Global climate change Food crises Land use + water Biodiversity Socio-economic welfare INTERLOCKING CRISES
  3. 3. Instituting economies <ul><li>Market emergence, industrial restructuring </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Long-wave technological transformations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creative destruction: restless capitalism </li></ul></ul><ul><li>States, transnational and international organisations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Law, fiscality, state economic agency, and non-market dynamism – e.g. the science base </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The petrochemical transition and the current transition crisis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dictatorship and war economies: post-war market-led expansion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New modes of governance to meet the interlocking crises of sustainability </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. How the world looks different from Brazil <ul><li>Leading the world in renewable fuel – surpassing international targets </li></ul><ul><li>Well-endowed with fossil fuel resources (Tupi oil field discoveries) </li></ul><ul><li>High Gini-coefficient, but no ‘food crisis’ : significant food exporter </li></ul><ul><li>Land, GHG and biodiversity – key pressure points: LUC and ILUC </li></ul>
  5. 5. Questioning the Brazil trajectory <ul><li>What have been the modes of instituting the Brazilian bioeconomy? </li></ul><ul><li>How has the shift from dictatorship (1964-1986) to democracy affected the trajectory of development? </li></ul><ul><li>How have the drivers of development shifted over time: from dependent development to global leader? </li></ul>
  6. 11. Historical phases and modes of instituting the Brazilian bio-economy <ul><li>1930s to 1975: sugar and alcohol: the colonial legacy.The IAA. </li></ul><ul><li>1975-9. Oil and sugar crisis: Proalcool: state financing, subsidies, strategic planning with car manufacturers. Key role of Petrobras in distribution. Anhydrous ethanol, 20% blend. </li></ul><ul><li>1979 - 86: Second oil shock. 100% hydrated ethanol-only cars, World Bank finance, new deal with Ford, VW, Honda, etc. Direct state management, tax incentives – ‘forced’ consumption. </li></ul><ul><li>1986- 2001 Retreat of state: liberalisation and partial de-regulation, market competition between oil and ethanol. Price de-regulation. </li></ul><ul><li>2002- Rise of the bio-economy. Long term oil price rise, plus turbulence. Flex-fuel agreement. The splitting of Petrobras - Petrobras Biocombustível. Energy security plus market opportunity. Imperatives of sustainability – the biodiesel programme. Directed evolution: promoting innovation in sustainability. </li></ul>
  7. 12. First experimentations 1925 Sugarcane ethanol-fuelled car
  8. 13. Science and technology transformations <ul><li>From crop to wheel </li></ul><ul><li>Brazilian genomics, FAPESP, Votorantim, Allelyx/Canavialis – Monsanto. Bio-En. </li></ul><ul><li>Biorefinery – generations of transformation towards the 3-bio platform </li></ul><ul><li>Flex-fuel vehicles </li></ul>
  9. 14. Sugar-ethanol intensive Energy (bagasse) intensive Canavialis and Allelyx: 1G biotechnology of sugarcane Traditional crop + New environments Year-round cropping
  10. 15. Cutting cane: slaves, migrants and machines
  11. 16. The Dedini Baralcool Mill: 3-bio technology. Bioelectricity, bioethanol, biodiesel
  12. 17. Evolution of light vehicles production and Total Brazilian Fleet – ‘000 vehicles Source: ANFAVEA; VPB estimates Gasoline FFV Ethanol CNG Diesel 80% Brazilian Fleet (2007)
  13. 18. New international markets for bioethanol : 2006 (Source: Licht, 2007)
  14. 19. Pointers from Brazil <ul><li>Extreme constraints/oil shocks state economic direction: not quite a war economy. Implications for GCC and fossil fuel depletion. State planning, inter-state regulation, transnational governance </li></ul><ul><li>State created, ‘politically instituted’, international markets for biofuels – not straightforward market-led international trade in energy </li></ul><ul><li>The shifting balance between North and South, Middle East. </li></ul><ul><li>The break-up of the monolithic petro-chemical technology platform – first generation biofuels driving the transport economy sufficient for Brazil. Hybrids, electrical vehicles – but still liquid fuels. “The best days of the automobile are yet to come.&quot; VW CEO – February 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>The 21 st century – back to some vulgar materialist basics and the finiteness and fixity of resources. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainable economic growth needs sustainable energy growth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ We do photosynthesis well’. The importance of renewable ‘natural’ endowments. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hypermobility and space-time compression needs juice. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 20. What shape the post-fossil fuel world? 18 Brazils?? <ul><li>From the geopolitics of oil to the geopolitics of land: rebalancing North and South. </li></ul><ul><li>What crops for what uses, where, how and who to control the use of land? </li></ul><ul><li>The governance of sustainability: the Better Sugar Initiative, RSPO, the zero deforestation policies. </li></ul><ul><li>Directed innovation evolutionary pathways: new sources of variety. </li></ul><ul><li>Competing technologies of sustainable alternatives: the end of single technology-platform dominance? </li></ul><ul><li>New modes of instituting economies: the major challenge of interlocking crises. </li></ul>