Brazil - IEA Association Ceremony / Remarks by Dr Fatih Birol IEA Executive Director

I am delighted to be in Brazil for this very special occasion, which marks a historic step for the IEA and also for global energy governance.

It's hard to overstate Brazil's importance in the global energy scene.

A continental sized power, Brazil is the world's fifth largest country and seventh leading energy consumer.

On clean energy, Brazil boasts one of the cleanest electricity mixes in the world, in large part due to your determined deployment of hydropower.

Brazil's expertise in managing the complex hydropower plants of the Amazon cascade is unique worldwide.

On the regulatory side, Brazil has pioneered the use of auctions for long-term contracts for renewable energy. This has become a model which is now successfully applied as best- practice world-wide.

Brazil's track record in reaching exemplary levels of electrification for all its citizens has been cited internationally as best practice.

But perhaps Brazil's most outstanding feat recently has been its remarkable shift from net oil importer to net exporter in a very short period.

Since IEA records began in the early 1970s, Brazil has been an oil importer. However, according to latest IEA data, I am pleased to confirm that in 2017, Brazil will for the very first time achieve the established status of being a net exporter. Moreover, our analysis has the country on track to be exporting 1million b/d by 2022.

As such Brazil is the first country in recent history to change its destiny in this way and achieve such a result.

This success has been built around two pillars of policy which demonstrate something that is very important to the IEA. And that is -- policies do matter.

First, oil. In the past decade Brazil's oil production has increased by more than 50%, sustained by strategic decisions to develop the upstream sector and invest in its deep-water oil resources.

I would like to congratulate Brazil on the highly successful Pre-Salt bid round last week, which will bring tens of billions of dollars in investments to Brazil. Recent reforms have made Brazil more attractive for such large-scale investment. New dynamism in the Pre-Salt will contribute to kick-starting a new development cycle in Brazil, and establish it as a major- league exporter.

Second, its biofuels programme, including a strong R&D push, has helped keep oil demand growth under control.

And Brazil's biofuels leadership is helping promote this important source of low carbon energy around the world.

This overall success has also, of course, included massive investments in hydropower over a long period

Taken together this shows that long-term Brazilian government policies are paying off, and are now serving as inspiration to other countries around the world.

Welcoming Brazil into the IEA family is of strategic importance in several respects. I took over as Executive Director in 2015 with a clear vision to modernize the IEA, based on three strategic pillars:

  • Opening the doors of the IEA to major emerging countries;

  • Broadening and updating our core mandate on energy security, going beyond oil to include electricity and gas;

  • Turning the IEA into a global clean energy hub, including for energy efficiency.

Brazil is key to advancing along all three strategic pillars.

  • On opening the doors, with today's announcement, the countries of the IEA family now cover more than 70% of global energy consumption, up from 40% just two years ago when we started our new opening the doors strategy.


  • Brazil's engagement as an Association country thus provides an excellent basis for jointly developing successful solutions for a variety of global energy challenges.


  • On Energy Security, Brazil's successful development of its pre-salt resources will enable the Western Hemisphere to make important contributions to global oil security in the decades ahead.


  • We have already begun discussions with Brazil on supporting its gas market reforms.

  • Meanwhile, with longstanding expertise on renewables integration, Brazil can contribute greatly to discussions at the IEA on electricity security.


  • I have already referred to the vast contribution Brazil will be able to make to ensure the IEA becomes a really global energy hub, thanks to its renewables experience.



For these reasons, Minister Nunes Ferreira Filho, Minister Minister Coelho Filho, Your Excellencies and distinguished guests, I am very proud to jointly announce Brazil's association with you today.

The work programme 2017-19, which I will sign with Minister Coelho shortly, reflects very well the potential of our bilateral cooperation and Brazil's unique contribution to global energy debates.

As a life-long football fan, I cannot resist also making a reference to another area in which Brazil excels.

I was tremendously impressed by the string of impressive victories in World Cup qualifiers. I hope that in implementing our joint work programme we can be as effective that team under your coach Tite, who began his tenure with four goals: "excellence, democratization, modernity and transparency."

These are sentiments we very much agree with at the International Energy Agency.

I would like to thank Minister Coelho Filho for his strong leadership in driving the IEA-Brazil relationship. Thanks also go to Deputy Minister Pedrosa as well as Dr. Barroso, President of EPE, for their excellent work with us over the past year.

I would also like to acknowledge Minister Nunes Ferreira Filho for his support to the initiative and Ambassadors Marcondes and Campos for their key engagement in coordinating the association consultations over the past months.

This institutional tie we are jointly establishing today will be a major step forward in our excellent relationship.

I believe it will also allow the expertise and experience of Brazil in the energy field to be shared worldwide.

Thank you very much and welcome to the IEA family.

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