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|Second-generation sugarcane bioenergy & biochemicals: advance low-carbon fuels for transport and industry
|Centro de Gestão e Estudos Estratégicos (Brasil) (CGEE)
|The introduction of new advanced low-cabon technologies with the addition of sugars converted from cellulosic materials and the development of high-biomass sugarcane (energy cane) has opened a new agroindustrial path. The perspective to improve the potential yield of bioethanol to almost 25,000 liters per hectare is real (from 6,900 today). Considering a projected global consumption of gasoline of 1.7 trillion litters in 2025, energy cane based bioethanol would be able to replace 10% of total gasoline consumed in the world using less than 10 million hectares of land. Furthermore, the world would quickly experiment expressive carbon dioxide CO2 emissions reduction in the transport sector, responsible for one quarter of the total CO2 emissions. The tripod second-generation bioethanol (E2G), high-biomass sugarcane (energy cane) and renewable (green) chemistry is under implementation in Brazil throughout strong public-private partnerships. One of its most successful initiative, PAISS1 , has financed several innovation activities involving a number of well-established and start-up companies, as well as prominent science and technology institutions. The Center for Strategic Studies and Management - in Portuguese, Centro de Gestão e Estudos Estratégicos, acronym CGEE - and its associates, is exploring, analyzing and prospecting the impacts related to agroindustrial technology performance and costs, land use gains and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions of this endeavor. The objective is to deliver a consistent view of the benefits of such an initiative, whether it is nationally or globally framed, providing reliable foundations for the transition from a fossil based economy to a modern bioeconomy. Therefore, during the 20th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in December 2014, the Lima Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) was launched, aiming to demonstrate at COP 21 the engagement of countries and companies in the development of advanced low-carbon technologies, through public-private partnerships. Successfully, the French and Peruvian presidencies of the COP 21 and 20 carried out, throughout the year 2015, an admirable joint diplomatic effort towards the Paris Agreement. They emphasize the importance of increasing investments in low-cabon solutions and strengthening international cooperation. Targeted at identifying the opportunities arising from the low-cabon economy and exploring positive climate change agendas through innovations focused at sustainable development, CGEE as well as the National Laboratory on Bioethanol Science and Technology - in Portuguese, Laboratório Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia do Bioetanol, acronym CTBE - and the Brazilian Industrial Biotechnology Association - in Portuguese, Associação Brasileira de Biotecnologia Industrial, acronym ABBI - achieved studies on the role that advanced technologies should play to the biofuels industrial chain. With the support of these studies, CGEE proposed to the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - in Portuguese, Ministério das Relações Exteriores, acronym MRE or Itamaraty - and the French Presidency of COP 21 a presentation about the single Brazilian contribution to the feasibility of second-generation cellulosic ethanol on an industrial scale to be performed at COP21 in Paris. The diplomatic negotiations conducted by Itamaraty culminated in the invitation to BNDES to present, at the Action Day and the Energy Day at the COP 21, of the exceptional Brazilian contribution to reducing emissions in the transportation sector - until then without concrete options for reducing its dependence on fossil fuels - represented by the installation in Brazil of two pioneers industrial units of E2G production. In these occasions, the idea of creating a Global Alliance on this theme was launched. Following in 2016, a task force led by MRE was formed, with participants from BNDES, CGEE, GranBio/ABBI, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), to draw up the proposal for this Alliance. Once formatted and negotiated with the French presidencies of COP 21 and Moroccan COP 22, Itamaraty managed to mobilize the interest of 19 other countries to launch the Alliance, named Biofuture Platform, during COP 22 in Marrakesh (considered as the COP of the action, as well as the beginning of the Paris Agreement implementation). The Biofuture Platform includes central nations for the expansion of biofuels and for the development of new biotechnologies, such as the United States (US), Canada, China, India, Italy, France and the United Kingdom. The set of founding countries includes, in addition to Brazil and the countries already mentioned, Argentina, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Indonesia, Morocco, Mozambique, Netherlands, Paraguay, Philippines, Sweden and Uruguay. It is supported by intergovernmental organizations: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Energy Agency (IEA), International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL), UNCTAD and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Unido); and by private and social society organizations: ABBI, below50, CGEE, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Council on Industrial Biotechnology (WCIB). During this time, CGEE also contributed to the Low-carbon Transport Fuels (LCTF) initiative of WBCSD, which led to the launch, in 2016, of the global action below50, with a view to engaging in business to reduce at least 50% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in relation to fossil fuels replaced by low-cabon fuels produced or consumed by the member companies. Also in connection with COP 22, the Center organized in Brasilia, but integrating the COP's program, the Franco-Brazilian Seminar "Contribution of bioenergy and bioproducts to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement - the potential of cellulosic biomass for the development of the bioeconomy". It was done in partnership with the French Embassy, the French Development Agency (acronym in French AFD), BNDES, ABBI and the French Industry and Agro-resources Competitiveness Pole (IAR). CGEE also held a parallel event at the Brazilian Pavilion, during COP 22 in Morocco, with the participation of some of the Center's main partners: ABBI, AgroIcone, BNDES and Itamaraty. It is worth mentioning that, in order to meet the emission reduction targets announced by Brazil in its intended National Determined Contributions (iNDC) - 37% below 2005 levels, up to 2025, and subsequently 43%, up to 2030, for the economy as a whole -, measures are provided for: "increase the share of sustainable bioenergy in the Brazilian energy matrix to approximately 18% by 2030, expanding the consumption of biofuels, increasing the supply of ethanol, including increasing the share of advanced biofuels (second-generation), and increasing the share of biodiesel in the diesel mixture"; among others. Besides, the Ministry of Mines and Energy (acronym in Portuguese MME) manages the RenovaBio Program, with the objective of expanding internal production and use of biofuels, and the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications (acronym in Portuguese MCTIC) led the Bioeconomy Action Plan on Science, Technology and Innovation. Therefore, this publication shows a major Brazilian contribution to the implementation of the Paris Agreement, within the framework of the CGEE's project Positive Agenda of Climate Change: Opportunities of a Low-carbon Economy. It intends to give greater visibility to this Brazilian initiative and to its impact to the development of a sustainable and replicable energy alternative. It also explores the advantages and implications of existing synergies between mitigation, adaptation and sustainable development promoted throughout the life cycle of the second-generation bioenergy from sugarcane, identifying challenges and possible solutions to accelerate the development and diffusion of low-carbon technologies. Furthermore, this publication addresses recommendations for the formulation of strategies and measures to foster innovation in order to apply the results of the Twenty-First Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC.