The effort developed by Brazil and Paraguay through Itaipu Binacional’s actions was highlighted by experts during the opening of the Global Symposium on Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions. Held in Foz do Iguaçu between June 13 and 15, the event was attended by experts from various countries, as well as representatives of the public and private sectors, to discuss the issue.
The choice of Itaipu as the headquarters of the meeting was strategic since the company represents an example of sustainable water management. “Itaipu has shown us how peaceful and harmonious collaboration in a cross-border company can work as a success story between two countries sharing resources such as water and energy,” United Nations Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) Liu Zhenmin said via video. For him, it is necessary to think about water and energy management in an integrated way to have a perspective of the future.
The leader of Undesa’s sustainable energy team, Minoru Takada, highlighted Itaipu’s role as an example of intelligent use of resources in addition to meeting social goals. “We have to work with sustainability not only in relation to the planet but to people. That’s why we are here. Itaipu offers a very concrete example of how to work with all these aspects of sustainability in the 2030 Agenda”.
According to him, through Itaipu, Brazil and Paraguay have built a network of projects and programs that go beyond energy generation and are in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement.
The opinion is shared by Itaipu’s executive financial director, André Pepitone da Nóbrega. Representing the Brazilian general director, Anatalicio Risden Junior, he reaffirmed the company’s role in meeting the global climate agenda. “Itaipu is the greatest example of how the exploration of a hydraulic potential can be carried out in a sustainable way, generating progress, economic growth, social well-being, in addition to contributing to the eradication of poverty,” he said.
Responsible for the environmental sector of Itaipu, the Director of Coordination, Luiz Felipe Carbonell, recalled that the care for water and its surroundings is in the genesis of the company. “From the moment it arose there was also environmental planning. And thanks to this, we have today a relationship between the power generation company and sustainable development. We organize a virtuous circle in which we generate clean and renewable energy and carry out sustainable development so that we can generate more energy.”
Recurring points in the debates on the first day of the event, the SDGs serve as a direction for the actions of companies and public entities. Ambassador Manuel Maria Cáceres, Paraguayan general director, made a point of highlighting that Itaipu is the only hydroelectric plant in the world committed to all 17 objectives and recalled the importance of the event as a way to evolve the global debate on sustainability.
“It is hoped that the results of the discussions and debates of this Symposium will serve to prepare the first global report on the situation and trends of effective solutions for the use of water and energy,” he said.