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Developing away from sustainability? Regional development and globalization in the Brazilian sugarcane ethanol sector

Wells, Peter Erskine and Faro, Thaisa 2009. Developing away from sustainability? Regional development and globalization in the Brazilian sugarcane ethanol sector. Presented at: Regional Studies Assocation, KU Leuven, Belgium, 6-9 April 2009.

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Abstract

Over the last 40 years or so the Brazilian sugarcane industry has been transformed by the growth of the market for ethanol, produced by the fermentation and distillation of sugarcane juice. Initially under the impact of the government Proalcool programme, more recently as a result of new flexible-fuel engines, the sugarcane ethanol sector flourished serving a local demand – generating wealth and jobs. Within the context of Brazil, the sugarcane ethanol sector had much to recommend it as an example of regional agri-industrial sustainability. It provided an escape from volatile and falling international sugar prices; it provided work (albeit difficult and underpaid) for many migrant rural workers; it generated distributed local wealth; and it provided macroeconomic benefits most notably in terms of substituting for imported petroleum. As this paper explores, the danger now is that a previously sustainable example of regional industrialism is exposed to the forces of globalisation as never before, with the risk that in such a volatile market the sector will become unsustainable in economic, social and environmental terms.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Centre for Advanced Manufacturing Systems At Cardiff (CAMSAC)
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1201 Latin America (General)
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sustainable regions; bio-ethanol; sugarcane; Brazil; globalisation; transitions.
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:39
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/42280

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