Spotlight Activity: Brazil Uses the System for Estimating Greenhouse Gas Emissions (SEEG)—A Model Other Countries Should Consider
In 2012, fostered by the Climate Observatory, an initiative comprised of more than 40 institutions, including Greenpeace, The Nature Conservancy and WWF, the SEEG system was developed. SEEG, which stands for “System for Estimating Greenhouse Gas Emissions”, is the first world non-governmental initiative aiming at the yearly calculation of sector-wide greenhouse gas emissions of different countries.
SEEG’s dataset for Brazil, which complies with IPCC guidelines, is based on the Brazilian National Inventories along with raw data from multiple official and non-official sources. The data set is 46 years long (1970 – 2016) and provides more than 2 million data records for the Agriculture, Energy, Industry, Waste and Land Use Change sectors, at national and sub-national (states) levels. It includes removals from land use change and international marine and aviation bunker emissions as well as not inventoried GHG emissions and removal sources, such as agricultural soil carbon stock variations.
Due to its completeness, accuracy and ease of use, SEEG is a fundamental instrument for transparency and fulfillment of a country´s national climate policy. It can also significantly enhance the capacity of policymakers to follow trends and adapt public policies in order to comply with commitments to the Paris Agreement.
What SEEG shows us
From the data provided, in terms of tons of equivalent CO2 GWP-AR2 (GWP stands for Global Warming Potential and AR2 stands for the metric used by IPCC 2nd report), from 1970 to 2015 emission has grown by a 4.34 percent CAGR. Compared to the country´s real GDP growth of 3.75 percent yearly average throughout the period, Brazil has been growing its CO2 emission at a faster rate than what it is growing its economy. However, the pace of greenhouse gases emission is declining throughout the most recent periods – from 2010 to 2015 it grew at a 1.10 percent yearly rate and from 2000 to 2015 it has actually declined emissions at a 0.76 percent yearly rate.
Its composition, however, has not changed much throughout the years: the economic activity that most emits greenhouse gases is Land Use Change, contributing 43 percent of the total (base 2015). Then comes Fuel Combustion, with around 22 percent of the country´s emissions and in third place Enteric Fermentation with 12 percent. It is important to highlight, however, that Land Use Change has accounted, base 1990, for 63 percent of the country´s CO2(e) emission.
Status: Moving Forward
SEEG is a one-of-a-kind dataset, result of the society´s efforts for a more transparent and reliable source of information regarding trends and results of climate policies. It gives support to analytical documents and through its simple and interactive platform, is easily accessible by all users. It has also inspired the creation of initiatives in other countries, such as Peru and India, and other products derived from it (the Brazilian Annual Land Use report and MapBiomas, for example).
The Climate Observatory, responsible for the SEEG and other derived platforms, is accomplishing the goal of providing reliable, long term and transparent data on greenhouse gases emissions. It has been acknowledged by scientists, NGOs, policy makers and the general population, becoming, also, one of the worldwide benchmarks for such an analysis. In this, we congratulate the Climate Observatory for this action and strongly encourage them to keep up with the priceless work.
Send Action Alert Message to:
Mr. Carlos Rittl, Executive Secretary, Observatório do Clima – Climate Observatory