Inaugural Winners Honored for the California Global Warming Solutions Act and Brazil’s Ethanol Revolution
ASPEN, Colo. – July 18, 2007 – Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) today announced the inaugural winners of its “KPCB Prize for Greentech Policy Innovators.” The two recipients are Bob Epstein, co-founder of Environmental Entrepreneurs, and Professor Jose Goldemberg, former Secretary of the Environment and Chair of the newly created Bioenergy Commission of the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The winners will be honored at an award ceremony during KPCB’s Third Greentech Innovation Network (GIN) Forum in Aspen, Colorado. The GIN Forum is a gathering of Greentech thought leaders — policymakers, entrepreneurs, scientists, NGOs, and other environmental experts — to help find innovations and solutions to the global climate change problem.
The two winners will share the KPCB Greentech policy prize of $50,000, established to reward entrepreneurs for outstanding achievements in policies and programs aimed at clean water, clean power, clean transportation, and addressing global warming. Epstein is being recognized for his dedication to helping pass the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (California Assembly Bill 32), the state’s landmark legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Professor Goldemberg is being recognized for his pioneering contributions to the sugarcane ethanol revolution in Brazil, which started in the late 1970s and is the primary source of the country’s exemplary energy independence today.
Bob Epstein and the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006
“The California Global Warming Solutions Act was perhaps the most important legislation of 2006,” said KPCB partner Ray Lane. “California became the first state to mandate a 25 percent reduction of CO2 emissions by 2020. Bob’s resolve and leadership were key in advocating that a system of market incentives and mandatory caps on greenhouse gases is necessary, and just as important, good for California’s economy.”
Epstein led the charge for the passage of this groundbreaking bill, which was signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in September 2006. The act requires the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to develop regulations and market mechanisms that will ultimately reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions. Under the legislation, CARB will begin to measure the greenhouse gas emissions of the industries it determines are significant sources of such emissions, with mandatory caps beginning in 2012.
Epstein now serves as Vice Chairman of California’s Economic and Technology Advancement Advisory Committee for the California Global Warming Solutions Act. He is an engineer with a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, an entrepreneur, and the co-founder of five companies: Sybase, New Resource Bank, GetActive Software, Zight, and Britton-Lee. He currently splits his professional time between his roles as co-founder of Environmental Entrepreneurs, Director of New Resource Bank, and Trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Epstein’s community activities are focused on the environment, public education, and opera.
Jose Goldemberg and Brazil’s Ethanol Revolution
“Professor Goldemberg is the father of Brazil’s ethanol miracle,” said KPCB partner Ellen Pao. “His vision and actions over the past 30 years have allowed Brazilian sugarcane ethanol to become one of the most cost-competitive and emissions-friendly energy sources in the world today.”
Due to Professor Goldemberg’s efforts, Brazil today has been able to replace 40 percent of its automotive gas consumption with ethanol, making the country almost gasoline independent. Brazil now produces about 4.5 billion gallons of ethanol from sugarcane annually. Brazil’s car fleet is now 85 percent flex fuel and the country has 29,000 ethanol pumps. In contrast, the United States has 700 ethanol pumps.
Professor Goldemberg is a leading expert on energy and environment issues and has an extensive record of public service. He is currently Chairman of a newly created Bioenergy Commission of the State of Sao Paulo and formerly served as Secretary for the Environment of the State of Sao Paulo and director of the Energy Company of the State of Sao Paulo. He has served Brazil’s federal government in various capacities, including Secretary of State for Science and Technology, interim Secretary of the Environment, and Minister of Education. Professor Goldemberg has helped modernize environmental policy, education, and information systems in Brazil.
Professor Goldemberg is an educator at the University of Sao Paulo, as well as a physicist and research scientist. He earned his Ph.D. in Physical Science from the University of Sao Paulo where he served as rector and full professor. He has authored many technical papers and books on nuclear physics, the environment, and energy, and has served as president of the Brazilian Association for the Advancement of Science. Professor Goldemberg also served as Chairman of the Editorial Board and a lead author of the United Nations Development Programme World Energy Assessment. In 1988, he published the acclaimed collaborative work titled Energy for a Sustainable World.