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Can Green Sustain Growth?From the Religion to the Reality of Sustainable Prosperity$
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John Zysman and Mark Huberty

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804785259

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804785259.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022



Disentangling Green Industry from Brown Consequences

(p.206) 12 Brazil
Can Green Sustain Growth?

Benjamin S. Allen

Stanford University Press

Brazil’s energy matrix is among the most renewable in the world: 46% stems from hydroelectric dams, sugar cane-based ethanol, and wood and vegetable carbon. However, by some estimates Brazil is also the fourth-highest greenhouse gas emitter – a position earned by deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, which when combined with conversion to pasture or agriculture, releases 80% of Brazil’s annual GHG emissions. Renewable energy, meanwhile, is not as green as it first appears – sugar cane requires extensive tracts of land on which to grow; biodiesel producers employ both bovine fat and soybeans, increasing demand from industries linked to deforestation; and hydroelectric dams require local deforestation, and produce downstream ecological consequences. Thus, renewables may contribute to deforestation-related GHG emissions, if environmental laws are not enforced. By discussing the trajectories of Amazon deforestation, renewable energy, and environmental politics in Brazil, this chapter illustrates that “green” industry may have “brown” consequences.

Keywords:   deforestation, ethanol, hydropower, biodiesel, ranching, agriculture, timber industry

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