São Paulo – Brazil’s minister of Environment, Ricardo Salles, wants to bring the United Arab Emirates expertise in applying technology to better use our natural resources. In his way to Japan, the minister had appointments with UAE’s ministers and big energy company leaders on Tuesday (11) and Wednesday (12).
In an exclusive phone interview with ANBA, the minister said the UAE has developed an important agenda in the field of climate change and the use of technology for energy efficiency, effective water and solar power projects. “These technology advances may be very useful to Brazil,” Salles said.
The minister talked about energy efficiency to Saeed Al Tayer, CEO of Dubai Electricity And Water Authority (DEWA), Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, company that carries out the project of a homonymous sustainable city, as well as Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE’s minister of Climate Change and Environment.
Salles said both Brazil and the Arab countries, particularly the UAE, have a great photovoltaic energy potential. “Here, they are using large-scale photovoltaic energy,” he said. According to him, solar energy is even used for water desalination in the UAE, reducing the project costs.
In Brazil, solar energy use is not as high as in the UAE, but there’s a great potential, according to Salles. Their experience with desalination was discussed during the meetings. “In Brazilian regions such as the Northeast, this technology the UAE developed may be very useful,” he said.
At DEWA (pictured above), the Brazilian minister learned about the work they’ve to minimize water losses during distribution. The UAE index is 3.5%, while some places in Brazil have up to 30% or even more, according to Salles. “This shows how much we can improve in water management,” he said.
Ricardo Salles talked about cooperation and how to translate this into concrete actions. The minister settled that before Brazil’s next meetings with the UAE on energy efficiency – which may involve Brazil’s minister of Environment or other government bodies – agreements and ways to settle partnerships will be proposed.
According to minister, in a possible trip from president Jair Bolsonaro to the UAE, the solar energy topic will be on his agenda. In April, Brazil’s Foreign Relations minister Ernesto Araújo said that Bolsonaro may visit the Arab countries. “If the president comes, we can strengthen this agenda even more,” the minister said. He also said that, even if Bolsonaro doesn’t go to the UAE, they will work on a way to take this expertise to Brazil.
He also had a meeting with the UAE minister of State and managing director for the Dubai World Expo 2020 Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy. She said that Brazil should take to the expo specific ideas that may be followed up later. Each world expo occurs in a different country. In the UAE, it will start in October 2020 lasting until April 2021.
“Expo 2020 is the beginning of something, not an end in itself,” the minister said. He talked to Hashimy about the possibility to show Brazilian sustainable production in the expo – as an example to the world, Salles says – as well as ecotourism options in conservation areas.
“The message we want to put out there is of a country that produces sustainably, adequately uses all of its natural resources, and supplies sustainably produced food to the whole world,” said Ricardo Salles.
Ecotourism was also the topic in the meeting the minister of Environment had with Emirates Group CEO and chairman Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum. According to Ricardo Salles, they talked about steps that may be taken to increase the number of Emirati tourists in Brazilian ecotourism.
The Brazilian minister’s meetings in the country were supported and assisted by Brazil’s ambassador in Abu Dhabi, Fernando Igreja.
Translated by Guilherme Miranda