Brazil Emission Reduction Challenges

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Leading Emission Reduction Challenges: (a) Rising consumer and/or industrial demand for energy-intensive products and services; (b) Deforestation; (c) Changing peoples’ behavior; (d) Political and economic crises

Current Level of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

According to the analysis of Panorama Brazilian Emissions Current—Trends and Challenges of Climate Observatory, derived from the System Greenhouse Gas Emission estimate (SEEG), the period of drastic reduction in Brazil’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has passed. The fall of over 70% in deforestation rates in the Amazon, which helped Brazil lower its share in global emissions from 6.2% in 2004 to 2.9% in 2012, placed the country in a good position to initiate discussions regarding the new global climate agreement that will replace the Kyoto Protocol after 2020. But the new estimates generated by the Climate Observatory show a clear upward trend in GHG emissions from energy, transport, agriculture, industry and solid waste. It is noteworthy that the Climate Observatory estimates still do not capture the increase in deforestation in the Amazon last year. There is therefore a strong indication that Brazil can reach 2020 with emissions on the rise.

Emission Reduction Challenges

“Brazil must meet the voluntary target emission reduction set in 2010 to 2020. But following the current trend, it is likely that in the coming years further reductions of deforestation are lower than the increase in emissions in other sectors, leading to a new period of growth” says Tasso Azevedo, SEEG coordinator.

As a swimmer against the current, the nature of the problem is still in the people’s incapacity to perceive the real deal behind climate change. Nowadays, Brazil’s population is around 204 million (IBGE, 2015), and cattle population is 212 million (IBGE, 2015). These statistics are dramatic. The destruction of forests to make pastures or to grow crops to feed the livestock is a major source of GHG in Brazil. In addition, methane, a gas released from cows, has 20 times more impact on global warming than an equivalent amount of released carbon dioxide (CO2).

So there´s no agreed upon solution ahead. Brazil is fighting against deforestation, but while the current rate of deforestation is declining, it is still alarming. Meanwhile, local meat consumption is growing and remains outside of the emissions reduction agenda, and even outside the debate among ordinary citizens.

–Submitted by Climate Scorecard Country Manager Ciro Moura


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