Brazilian Energy (and food)

Mario Ocampo, November 15, 2021

If it’s another week at the LEAP Center, we are probably headed to another fantastic World Affairs Council meeting, and this time Brazil was on the menu. Today’s luncheon included a mouth-watering meal that brought many wonderful and exciting individuals together. The event included the conversation on transitional projects needed to ensure Brazil a profitable yet environmentally-friendly energy future. The keynote speaker and panelists engaged the attendees with a market-based discussion of the energy transition, including hydrogen as the leading alternative to fossil fuels.

Today’s luncheon was located at the well-known Brazilian Steakhouse, Fogo de Chao. As the smells of various meats filled the room, many in attendance quickly engaged in enthusiastic conversations. Erin Juarez, Saara Maknojia, and I did not shy away from trying as much food as possible.

The moderator, Norman Nadorff, Counsel of Mayer Brown LLP, opened the floor and explained Brazil’s energy transition framework and economic incentives and the role that oil and other energy companies are expected to play along the way.

The featured speaker of the event, Francisco Monaldi, the Director of the Latin America Energy Program at Rice University’s Baker Institute, spoke about the critical transitions Brazil and other nations must achieve to reach net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050.

Panelist Benigna Cortes Leiss, a Nonresident Fellow at the Baker Institute, explained the steps the country of Chile is taking on investing in renewable energy sources.

Benigna educated us on the active roles supporting companies like Siemens are conducting to expedite the transition to Hydrogen energy. The Co-Lead of Energy Transition, Greg Matlock, Partner at Mayer Brown LLP, elaborated on the importance of government incentives and how it promotes the growth of greener energy source alternatives.

Mr. Matlock explained that governments must create tax incentives to incentivize more funding towards greener energy sources like Hydrogen. The proper capital appropriation is vital to keep us on track to achieve the zero-carbon emissions goal.

To the World Affairs Council staff in attendance, Mayer Brown LLP, and all the event speakers, thank you for making this event extremely engaging and insightful.