Cintia am 22.07.2015 - 20:10

While I do find bilateral cooperation on this topic interesting, I'm afraid many serious issues are left unaddressed. The article says that sustainability concerns such as "clearing of the rainforest and the ‘food versus fuel’ dilemma – are not relevant to the Brazilian context also hasn’t helped. The soils of the Brazilian rainforest are not suitable for growing sugar cane. This crop is mainly cultivated in south-eastern Brazil, far away from the Amazon". Reading this is very upsetting as a Brazilian citizen. The Amazon is of course the biggest bioma in Brazil, but the Mata Atlantica (which is the one cleared for ethanol production and has been reduced to only 7% of its original size - is just as important as any other bioma (some people even argue it's more important than the Amazon, since that's where more than half of the Brazilian population live). The terrible social and working conditions of the people who do the sugarcane harvesting ("boias frias") are just apalling (some are even "working" under semi-slavery conditions) - not to mention other impacts caused by the Brazilian agribusiness sector, such as excessive water consumption (Sao Paulo, as well as other Brazilian cities, is currently going through a water supply crisis).

What to say, then, about the hydropower plants? Just to give one well-known example, the construction of the Belo Monte dam has taken the Brazilian government to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for violating the rights of the indigenous population ( ). Environmental and social consequences of Brazilian hydropowerplants should not allow it to be called "clean" energy.

I certainly hope Germany takes none of that as an example. Brazilian energy policy is only a source of pride for those of very disturbing character and should not be pursued by any country that respects the wellbeing of its citizens and future generations.

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