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Reinfeldt touts 'green economy' on Brazil visit

AFP/The Local · 19 May 2011, 07:47

Published: 19 May 2011 07:47 GMT+02:00

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Reinfeldt, who on Tuesday discussed ethanol production, environmental concerns and technological cooperation with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, spoke Wednesday to the Federation of Industries of Sao Paolo (FIESP).

"The challenge of attaining a green economy and sustainable society is huge, but there is no alternative," Reinfeldt told nearly 300 business people.

Reinfeldt proposed establishing a "price" on pollution and consumption of natural resources -- in order to reduce emissions.

"I believe that putting a price on pollution or the use of our natural resources is the most effective way" to create a successful green economy, he said.

The plan would require commitments by major polluters such as China and the United States, he said.

Reinfeldt expressed hope that his and similar ideas would gain support at the "Rio+20" UN Conference on Sustainable Development planned for Brazil next year.

"We need a better common understanding of green economy, and Rio+20 could get us closer to such an understanding," he said.

Sweden has "cut in half" its consumption of fossil fuels and oil since the 1970s, the prime minister told the financial newspaper Valor in an interview published Wednesday.

"Ethanol is part of that," he said.

Sweden is one of the largest purchasers of Brazilian ethanol, made from sugar cane, for the Swedish mass transit system. On Tuesday, Rousseff said she spoke with Reinfeldt about a possible joint effort to produce ethanol in Tanzania.

Meanwhile, a Swedish company is in the running for a multi-billion-dollar contract for 36 new fighter jets for the Brazilian military.

Brazil announced in February that it wouldn't make any short-term decision on the contract, estimated to be worth between $4 billion and $7 billion, because of budget problems.

Story continues below…

Saab of Sweden is jockeying with US-based Boeing and France's Dassault for the contract.

Reinfeldt told Valor that Saab's Gripen NG is "the best" and boasted of its "excellent quality."

The visit marked Reinfeldt's first as head of government to a South American nation. He planned to conclude the trip Thursday in Chile.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:27 May 19, 2011 by konferans4
Your site is pretty good. Thank you. We have a Conference.

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11:43 May 19, 2011 by swedejane
Brazilian ethanol is a "part of the solution" to cutting emissions and decreasing climate change? Is this man obtuse or blinded by money? Deforestation of the brazilian rainforest to make way for all of this ethanol production accounts for 20% of greenhouse emissions year over year...and worse, it's removing the largest natural CO2 sink our planet has. Plus, I have yet to see any agreement that converting to ethanol has a net energy gain; meaning, that it takes less energy to produce ethanol than the energy it's converted to.

While I agree with Reinfeldt on the principle of taxing pollution, this policy is seriously misguided and not based on science.
12:25 May 19, 2011 by glamelixir
Well Swedejane, just check a bit about Reinfeldt's investments and offshore business and you will find that pollution is the least of his concerns. He is bringing up this topic because it is politically correct and Swedes love it. Trying to win over Green party voters. So it is no surprise to me that he would say something stupid.

On the other hand, the situation in the Amazonas is out of control. Deforestation is growing and not only causing envirormental problemas but also affecting indigenous tribes in the area that are forced to move due to the decrease of their resources and habitat. Not to mention how this affects the fauna as well.

Have been to Ilha Grande this year, what used to be a beautiful paradise is turned into a dump. The beach of Abraozinho is now facing an oil platform and the sand is full of the sticky black substance product of the leaking.

Brazil economy might be growing, but there is one thing that will never change. The so called "first world" will do anything to get what they need in an abuse of power over other nations. The colony times is not over, it has only changed its priorities and needs.
13:09 May 19, 2011 by heu
@Swedejane: While I mostly agree with you, I have to point out the fact that most of the deforestation of the Amazon is for the purpose of cattle raising and soy agriculture. Also a big part of the deforestation is illegal.

PS.: The correct spelling in English is Sao Paulo.
16:41 May 19, 2011 by Mb 65
I totally agree with you @Swedejane. when they cut down the rain forest where do you think all the rain goes. could this be why we are getting so many countries flooding from the heavy rain.
23:23 May 19, 2011 by MauricioMoraes
Dear swedejane

Ethanol has nothing to do with Amazon deforestation (which has been going down...). Deforestation has given room for catle, not to sugar cane, which grown down South, in São Paulo state, mostly, 3.000 km far away from the forest....
14:10 May 20, 2011 by karex
@heu and MauricioMoares: right you are

@Swedejane: It's the production of ethanol from startches such as corn which consumes more energy than is produces. Because the starch must first be converted to sugar. Sugar cane is already sugar, no conversion needed.

@Mb 65: I would comment, but I'm too busy LOL.
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