Brazilian physicist receives environmental award
26 June 2008
José Goldemberg, 80, a physics professor at the University of São Paulo (USP), has received the annual Blue Planet Prize from Japan’s Asahi Glass Foundation for ‘making major contributions in formulating and implementing many policies associated with improvements in energy use and conservation’.
Goldemberg is widely seen as one of the people who did most to change the way Brazil and the wider world looked at the issue of energy consumption in the 1970s and 80s. He helped dispense with the idea that rising energy consumption was a natural consequence of rising GDP, and therefore to be welcomed. In the book Energy for a Sustainable World (1988) he argued that developing countries did not need to follow the energy path of industrialized nations but could instead ‘leap-frog’ them by using cleaner technologies such as fuel alcohol.
He was one of the pioneers behind the development of Brazil’s sugarcane-ethanol programme, which has led to the country becoming a major producer and exporter of this form of biofuel, and to 90% of its new cars being able to run on any mixture of ethanol and petrol.
Source: Embassy of Brazil in London