Brazil Policy Recommendations

Spotlight Activity: Brazil Policy Recommendations

By signing the Paris Agreement on September 2016, Brazil pledged an ambitious “intended Nationally Determined Contribution (iNDC)” in order to contribute to the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise during the 21st century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels while also pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius (as per the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – UNFCCC website). 

Brazil assumed the commitment of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 37% below 2005 levels in 2025 and, subsequently, by 43% below 2005 levels in 2030. This pledge set an absolute target in relation to a base year (2005), covers 100% of the Brazilian territory, is economy-wide and follows as metric the 100-year Global Warming Potential (GWP-100) using IPCC AR5 values. 

As per the document sent to UNFCCC, the Brazilian government sees adaptation as a fundamental element to tackle climate change and enhance resilience of populations, ecosystems, infrastructure and production systems. In this sense, a National Adaptation Plan – NAP – was formulated and its implementation is still in course. 

The Brazilian NAP, which involves several stakeholders (from government to population, private initiative and academia), has as its main goal implementing knowledge management systems, research, technology, actions and processes to conduct climate adaptation planning. Through the NAP, Brazil´s vision for its adaptation undertakings is to integrate, where appropriate, vulnerabilities and climate risk management into public policies and strategies, as well as to enhance the coherence of national and local development strategies with adaptation measures.

Policy Recommendations

In order to achieve its commitment to the UNFCCC, Brazil´s main tackling areas and plans are: 

  1. Sustainable Use of Bioenergy

Brazil already has a large and successful biofuel program, including cogeneration of electricity through the use of biomass, but in order to comply with its pledge, it expects to increase the share of sustainable biofuels in the Brazilian energy mix to approximately 18% by 2030, by expanding biofuel consumption, ethanol supply and the share of biodiesel in the diesel mix; 

  1. Improvement of Land Use and Deforestation:

Brazil was able to implement a deforestation plan that, throughout 2004 to 2014 achieved the impressive result of reducing deforestation rate in the Brazilian Amazon by 82%, which contributed to the reduction of emissions from deforestation by 55%. Further, the country plans to strengthen and enforce its Forest Code, at a Federal level; obtain zero illegal deforestation in the Amazon by 2030; restore and reforest 12 million hectares of forests by 2030; and enhance sustainable native forest management systems; 

  1. Increased Use of Renewable Energy

To achieve its INDC pledge, Brazil has committed to a 45% share of renewables within the energy matrix by 2030 through the expansion of both non-fossil and renewable energy sources (other than hydropower) and the increase of efficiency gains in the electricity sector. 

Activity Rating: ** Standing Still

Brazil’s strategies for achieving its Paris Agreement commitments are now in danger. As per the Climate Action Tracker website – 2005, the base year for Brazil’s NDC targets was a year with particularly high emissions. Since then emissions have been increasing at a faster rate than GDP per capita, even in recession years, as shown by the SEEG – System for Estimating Greenhouse Emissions. 

Brazil’s progress in mitigating forestry emissions, a key part of the country´s total GHG emission reduction, has stopped since 2005, with deforestation and resulting emissions gaining speed once again. 

According to the most recent assessment of Climate Action Tracker, with currently implemented policies, Brazil will reach emissions levels (excluding Land Use, Land use change and Forestry) in 2025 and 2030 that are actually 28% and 33% higher than 2005 levels. With deforestation in a rising trend and being LULUCF the largest source of GHG emissions in Brazil, the NDC assumed with the Paris Agreement is heavily endangered. 

Considering that the other tackling fronts, such as renewable sources of energy and bioenergy are heading towards their goals (more due to a natural aptitude Brazil has for both than due to political efforts), it is now urgent that the Brazilian government start strengthening policies envisaging reduction of deforestation, not only in order to comply with its NDC but mainly due to the relevance our forests have for environmental services, biodiversity and carbon sequestration in a worldwide scale. 

Take Action

Please send the following message to the policymaker(s) below. 

Dear Minister, 

We recommend that your Ministry update the greenhouse gas emissions pledge of Brazil to the Paris Agreement before November 2030. Your updated pledge should be aimed at reaching a target of 432 MTCO2. We recommend that, in order to achieve this goal, you make efforts to comply with the Brazilian Forestry Code and implement stricter deforestation controls, especially in the Brazilian Amazon, including local oversight, dismantlement of illegal logging, cattle-ranching and grains production, and envisaging the protection of local communities and biodiversity.

Send Action Alert Message to:

Mr. Ricardo Salles, Ministry of Environment

Telefones: (61) 2028-1057/1289/1422
Esplanada dos Ministérios, Bloco B, 5º andar
70068-900 – Brasília – DF

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