UK's minister of Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband, visited the city of Piracicaba, in the interior of the state of São Paulo, in southeast Brazil, where sugarcane plantations abound, to get to know the Costa Pinto ethanol plant, owned by the Cosan group.
During the visit, the minister watched a presentation given by the president of the São Paulo Sugarcane Agroindustry Union (Unica), Marcos Jank, about the sector in Brazil and the priority given to climate change issues.
The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, alongside ethanol production and consumption, has been attracting increasing interest from the government of United Kingdom.
Miliband showed particular interest in the possibility of energy cogeneration (bioelectricity) during the production process through the burning of cane straw and bagasse, as well as in the possibility of producing second-generation ethanol.
The minister also got in a harvester during the visit to the plant, and was enthusiastic about what he saw.
"The issue of climate change attracts great interest in Europe, particularly among the British, and ethanol from sugarcane is an important tool for these countries to achieve their goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions," said Jank in a release issued by the Unica press office.
During the presentation, Jank told the British minister that the emission of approximately 600 million tons of carbon dioxide had been prevented since the implementation of the ethanol program in Brazil, in the mid-1970s. The figure is equivalent to the planting of 6 billion trees in 20 years.