Authors of the book “Brasil: Paraíso Restaurável” (Brazil: Restorable Paradise) talk about a sustainable future

July 2023

The October edition of G5 Talks discussed an extremely relevant and current topic: the foundations for building a more sustainable and prosperous future. We debated this theme with our guests, the authors of the book “Brasil: Paraíso Restaurável” (Brazil: Restorable Paradise), Jorge Caldeira, Luana Schabib and Julia Marisa Sekula. G5 Talks is a project through which business leaders exchange experiences and learnings with the team at G5 Partners. The interview was guided by Eduardo Caldeira and Levindo Santos, Partners at G5, and the authors discussed the urgent matters of the financial model during the first decades of the 21st century, in which the environment is now at the core of the global agenda. Preserving nature will be at the main concern of the process of creating economic value, a new context in which Brazil has the opportunity of playing a leading role. The authors challenge the current paradigm, in which economic development is a counterpoint to the rational use of natural resources. “We can have economic development with sustainable use of natural resources. The pandemic [covid-19] has shown, once again, that most economic theories do not dive deeply into many matters. Nature is one of them”, said Julia. According to the guests, data shows that Brazil has a capacity to generate energy from renewable sources, such as wind and hydroelectric plants, at a magnitude that surprises even those involved in the matter. Luana highlighted the fact that the Brazilian energy matrix is one of the cleanest in the world. “Many Brazilians have no idea how far ahead we are in these areas”, she concluded. 

Despite this, Jorge Caldeira drew attention to the fact that Brazil still has an inefficient institutional and regulatory framework. According to him, Germany, India, Kazakhstan, the USA, the European Union and China are some examples of where a new way of thinking has been adopted in the strategic planning. “With renewable energy gaining ground at a alarming rate, large economies began using Environmental Target Plans as a guide in their long-term planning.” In March of last year, the EU announced that, by 2050, 50% of its energy sources will be renewable, changing its implementation method. “Now, a company who wants to receive support from the State to recover from the Covid-19 crisis must adhere to environmental goals and have environmental programs. Resources are released according to these goals”. Currently, strategic planning is linked to the carbon-free economy, unlike in the 1970s, when nations were guided exclusively by GDP growth, added Caldeira. “This scenario had already been built since the 70s and 80s. But the Covid-19 crisis made the situation progress extraordinarily.” According to the author, from 2000 to 2020, there was a 150x increase in global production of solar and wind energy. In 2020, due to Covid-19, renewable energy sources surpassed coal, oil and gas for the first time in history. 

“Brazil did not make any conscious effort for this transition: it did not create laws and the transition to clean energy is not part of Brazilian programs. However, Brazil is ahead of the game. “Despite this context, Jorge Caldeira explained that “thanks to its history and culture, Brazil built an energy matrix that allows it to aspire as a leading power in this new way of organizing the economy. Its exuberant nature, seen from a new angle, appears as the basis of future production”. The question is: “We can have a leading role in this new world. But do we want it?” 

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