Sugarcane is considered an important economic crop not only for sugar production, but also for ethanol generation, serving as an expandable green alternative to the usage of crude oil. To take advantage of the use of sugarcane as a renewable source for bioethanol production, it is important to increase its productivity without increasing land usage, which includes sugarcane cultivation under hostile conditions, such as waterlimited environments. In this study, we demonstrated that stress-inducible overexpression of the transcription factor AtDREB2A CA conferred drought tolerance in sugarcane subjected to water deficiency under greenhouse conditions. In addition, transgenic plants expressing AtDREB2A CA accumulated higher levels of sucrose than non-transgenic plants. These results indicate that the AtDREB2A CA gene under the control of the stress-inducible promoter ZmRab17 represents a promising strategy for the development of new sugarcane varieties with improved drought tolerance.