The Green Dollar
Women Today

Babes in Green Lands: Women leading the fight

A smiling Dilma Rousseff was seen in the papers today. She has just been made president in Brazil. She may not be in Brazilian tan and does not lie on beaches in her birthday suit all year, but she is definitely feminine. She is leading a daughter (Brazil) who has started to save her mother, earth through biofuel usage over oil.

According to the Economist, Brazil is a country that runs its vehicles on flex-fuel engines which are engineered to power up a mixture of ethanol and petrol. It says that Munos Jark of UNICA (União da Indústria de Cana-de-Açúcar), the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association, predicts that the use of these flex-fuel engines will increase to 90% by 2017. A look at the UNICA’s website today reveals that they are further welcoming the competition from hybrid vehicles. It says that Brazil’s daily paper, O Estado de São Paulo, has said Mexican built Ford Fusion Hybrid had arrived end of October and the Mercedes-Benz S400 hybrid, imported from Germany is already available. However, it seems that using any one of these vehicles commonly is still a far cry for the average wage-earner since the price tag of the Merz’s S400 is in the range of a Porsche Cayenne. China can’t seem to be left out of any action with their hybrid JAC J5 automobile invading the Brazilian market as well.

But UNICA, the largest biofuels producer in Brazil, stays undeterred on its path to make ethanol a global industry. It feels as if they are adamant for flex technology to stay and there is no implication for the hybrid taking over as a substitute. In fact, it clearly states that hybrid technology is fully compatible with flex but they are now working on solving the complexity of combining the two. They see the big long-term benefits of doing so despite the high initial costs. Ethanol currently fuels 27% of Brazil’s demand. It will be interesting to see how Dilma Dousseff will accelerate the figure taking over as a former Marxist guerrilla.

In the European continent, Angela Merkel is leading Germany as it strides aggressively into being the world’s green economy role model. It is not giving any alternative energy source a miss. It can afford not to because it can try and error on its rich natural endowments simultaneously and by buying time with the nuclear power plants’ operations extended to have the last one close by 2023. Merkel is working out the best energy mix formula for the country. She is also working out how best to appease the industry friendly ministers by putting tangible financial tools like taxes and subsidies into quotient rule.

I intended for this to be a softer article, but with all of the above covered, it sure ended up being hardened by fact and ambition, masculine things. I am not sure where this is taking us when we consider this. Is keeping feminine a fight? How do females fight? Why do they fight? Have they evolved to become fighters for the next generation? Is masculinity mere paper definition now? With cloning and IVF taking childbearing into a man-made, and no longer a God-given state, does it lay a possibility for men to take over the maternal role? Die Spiegel online international wrote today in comment of Brazil’s new president: “The fact that in a Catholic country a divorced woman could take the top job is a sign of a functioning democracy — in the past it would have been unthinkable.” I ask God if there will be a third testament of the bible. Maybe there already is an answer but just that I am not through with all 66 books yet. If there isn’t one God gave yet, it is most fortunately he does not give an answer until one or two are ready to receive.

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Blackrock: Profile

Blackrock is focused on companies that

1. have individual stock specific catalysts to release additional value

2. benefit the most from an improvement in the macro environment, through either higher oil prices or increased industry capital expenditure.

3. oil services

(Backdrop of oil price driven earnings revisions is a positive one, there are many company-specific factors to highlight even in flat price environemnt. Companies that are low-cost producrs and have strong resource positions, and high impact exploration programmes that are attracting value.)

For more information, contact:
Robin Batchelor, MD, portfolio manager and joint chief investment officer of blackrock's natural resources equity team, or Poppy Allanby: fund manager of Blackrock's natural resources equity team.

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