Itaipu Binacional defended, this Wednesday afternoon (9), at the World Climate Conference (COP 27), the adoption of nature-based solutions to face climate change. The company participated in a debate on Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions in support of climate and biodiversity goals through innovation and clean technologies.
The event, which is part of the official COP 27 program in Sharm El-Sheik (Egypt), took place at the SDG Pavilion (Sustainable Development Goals), of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), and was attended by organizations from Spain, Jordan, Kenya, Brazil and Paraguay.
According to Itaipu’s Head of Environmental Management, Ariel Scheffer da Silva, the company applies the concept of nature-based solutions, promoting forest restoration, recovery of springs, conservation of biodiversity and other actions that protect ecosystem services for the multiple uses of water (such as power generation, supply, agriculture, tourism and wildlife maintenance).
The more than 100,000 hectares of Atlantic Forest that protect the reservoir act as a green structure that helps to mitigate the impacts of climate events, which makes this an example of climate resilience to be shared with COP participants. “In addition to this, environmental education and the engagement of society, which generate long-term results, and technological innovation for data analysis, so that these actions are effective and lasting, something that is essential for tackling climate change”, said the superintendent.
Ariel Scheffer’s speech was complemented by those of colleagues from Paraguay, adviser María Antonia Gwynn and climatologist Sergio Méndez, who addressed the role of hydroelectricity as a stable and low-emission energy source, adaptation measures to increase the plant’s productivity during the water crisis of 2020 and 2021, and permanent monitoring of the Paraná River to protect the plant and surrounding communities.
The leader of Sustainable Energy at Undesa, Minoru Takada, opened the event highlighting the role of the Global Network of Sustainable Solutions in Water and Energy, an initiative that has Itaipu and UNDESA among the founding institutions, in the dissemination of good practices related to the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development, especially SDG 6 (water) and 7 (energy). “The network is growing, but we have to do more and empower people and organizations to face climate change”.
The debate had the participation of the special secretary of Social Articulation of the Secretariat of Government of Brazil, Marcos de Araújo, who addressed the Brazilian energy matrix, which is among those with the highest participation of renewable sources in the world, and the efforts of the country to advance the accessibility of energy services, with electrification programs in rural and remote areas. The secretary also highlighted the potential for investments in wind energy of more than 100 gigawatts (onshore) and 700 gigawatts (offshore).
Pascual Fernández, CEO of the sanitation company Canal de Isabel II, which supplies the Community of Madrid, emphasized the interrelationships between water and energy (sanitation processes are very electricity-intensive). Therefore, the company has spared no efforts to expand its own generation from renewable sources. In 2021, it produced 87% of the electricity it consumes. And it intends to expand this generation through investments in green hydrogen.
Investment in new sources was also the keynote of the other participants, who pointed out that the growing contribution of resources tends to make these sources cheaper and more accessible, in addition to benefiting the population with the generation of green jobs linked to new technologies and processes. “Climate change and the green agenda are not topics that are of interest only to ministries of the environment, but also those of finance and the economy, due to the positive impact they can have on countries”, stated Shada El- Sharif, Senior Adviser on Climate Change and Sustainability to the Government of Jordan.
Itaipu’s participation in COP 27 continues this Thursday (10) with two panels at the Brazil Pavilion (Blue Zone): at 11 am, the theme is “Brazil and the Sustainable Development Goals: contributions to SDGs 6, 7 and 13”; and at 4 pm, “Renewable Energy Sources”. Both events will be broadcast live on the Ministry of the Environment’s YouTube channel.
On Monday (14), Itaipu is one of the organizers and panelists of the event “Nexus solutions for climate-resilient water, energy, food and environment security: lessons learned from the ground”, starting noon at the Water Pavilion (Blue Zone). Live streaming through the link: https://events.zoom.us/e/view/2OkXfbQXScWlVm0Z2jXh3g
And, on Tuesday (15), Itaipu is a guest panelist at the side event “The role of hydropower in Achieving Climate Resilience”, at 1 pm, at the Tajikistan Pavilion (Blue Zone). This event is in-person only. All times reported are in Sharm El-Sheik time (Egypt), which is five hours ahead of Brasilia.