Brazil Checkup

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Brazil—Falling Behind

Climate Action Tracker finds Brazil’s emission reduction target levels to be at the least ambitious end of a fair contribution to global mitigation, and not consistent with meeting the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal unless other countries make much deeper reductions and comparably greater effort.

Recent developments in energy infrastructure planning and increasing deforestation levels are estimated to have added around 130 MtCO2 to Brazil’s total net emissions in 2016, and are evidence of a worsening of Brazil’s national climate policy implementation. Brazil seems to be going in the opposite direction from what is needed to achieve the Paris Agreement goal. Budget cuts of 50% to the Environment Ministry and other areas raise issues of concern around the Government’s ability to monitor deforestation adequately.

The low ambition level of Brazil’s INDC targets, together with a recent economic recession that has resulted in slower than expected emissions growth, puts the country on track to meet its INDC targets without any additional effort. However, emissions in most sectors are expected to rise at least until 2030. Also, the remarkable progress in forestry emissions mitigation seems to have stagnated, with deforestation emission increasing again in recent years. In order to reach peak emissions and rapidly decrease levels afterward, as required by the Paris Agreement, Brazil will need to reverse the current trend of weakening its climate policies. It will also need to sustain and strengthen policy implementation in the forestry sector and accelerate mitigation action in other sectors—including a reversal of present plans to expand fossil fuel energy sources.

The political situation in Brazil is further complicating its efforts to reach its Paris Agreement goals. The new President is being accused of bribery and corruption, and the government is consumed with this scandal, making it difficult to focus on the environmental sector. The few laws that are being discussed include a bill for reducing protection of forest areas.

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