Curitiba: The Brazilian Capital Leading the Way for Climate Mitigation and Adaptation

Curitiba: The Brazilian Capital Leading the Way for Climate Mitigation and Adaptation

By Climate Scorecard Brazil Country Manager Elis Cotosky

In 2018, four major Brazilian capitals took a pledge to comply with the Paris Agreement, by developing climate action plans through the support of the C40’s Climate Action Planning Latin America Program. Among those cities, one that stands out is Curitiba, the capital of Parana State.

In 2020, after the pledge to the C40’s Climate Action Program, the city launched a comprehensive municipal plan for carbon mitigation and adaptation, called PlanClima. The vision of the program is to help the city to become carbon neutral by 2050, building resilience and societal collaboration to overcome climatic risks.

PlanClima’s prioritized actions

To achieve this vision, PlanClima has prioritized 20 actions that focus on mitigation and/or adaptation, and are related to one of the following strategic sectors: urban environmental quality, energy efficiency, waste management, urban mobility, data monitoring and innovation. In the table below, you will find a summary of the findings:


Action Type Sector  Deadline
Urban Env. Quality Energy efficiency  Waste Mgmt.  Urban mobility Data
& Innov
Increase city’s green areas Mitigation & Adaptation X         2050
Improve city’s drainage, permeability, shadowing, and natural cooling systems Adaptation X         2050
Implement rainwater management projects, based on sustainable urban drainage principles Adaptation X         2050
Promote hydric security in the city Adaptation X         2050
Establish and regulate requirements for building`s adaptations for climate threats Adaptation X X X     2025
Guarantee Food security, promoting conscious consumption and waste minimization Mitigation & Adaptation X X X     2030
Increase renewable energy use, and energy efficiency practices Mitigation   X X     2030
Implement greenhouse gas reduction in effluent treatment plants Mitigation   X X     2050
Increase recycling levels on waste directed to landfills Mitigation   X X     2050
Increase low carbon initiatives on planning and operation of mobility modes Mitigation       x   2050
Promote active mobility – both by walking and bike – through the improvement of bike lanes and sidewalk infrastructure Mitigation       X   2050
Renovate public transportation fleet to reduce pollutant’s emission Mitigation & Adaptation       X   2050
Improve air quality monitoring and actions to mitigate air pollutants Mitigation & Adaptation X       X 2025
Intensify the monitoring of diseases and vectors related to climatic change Adaptation X       X 2025
Promote actions to control and monitor the use of soil and how it reacts to climate changes Adaptation X       X 2030
Improve the city’s alert system and response to extreme events Adaptation X       X 2030
Develop circular economy measures Mitigation X   X X X 2030
Promote environmental education and behavioral changes towards climate mitigation and adaptation Mitigation & Adaptation         X 2050
Develop an urban data system to gather, monitor, evaluate and update climate information N/A         X 2030
Implement a governance system to manage PlanClima’s goals Mitigation & Adaptation X X X X X 2025

Source: PlanClima’s report

Besides those prioritized actions, the city has already accomplished important milestones on climate mitigation and adaptation, including urban farms, agricultural innovation hubs, environmental education programs and solar energy investment projects. The latter called Curitiba Mais Energia was awarded an amount of 1 million USD from the G40 Cities Finance Facility – operated by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and by the C40 group – to implement solar panels in bus terminals and landfill areas in the city.2

Although PlanClima’s total costs were not disclosed, Curitiba’s municipal government stated that the implementation will be financed both by the municipal government budget and by financial institutions for development, both in Brazil, such as the National Bank for Development (BNDES), and internationally, like the aforementioned example from GIZ.

The implementation of PlanClima will be conducted by a cross-department coalition within the municipal government. Moreover, due to the complexity and boldness of the goals set, the plan also will rely on help from society and the private sector for an effective carbon emission reduction.


PlanClima’s strengths and weaknesses

There are two key strengths of PlanClima that indicate the possibility of a positive outcome for carbon emission reductions in the city. First, the plan is comprehensive in terms of what it takes to reduce carbon emissions and involves many layers of stakeholders in its implementation – including the government, private companies and civil society. Secondly, actions such as the Curitiba Mais Energia, which are already being implemented, show a commitment from the government to see that the plan gets fully implemented.

On the other hand, according to PlanClima’s report, four main barriers could result in limiting the plan’s expected carbon emission reductions:

  • The lack of legal power to implement certain strategies, due to coordination problems between municipal secretaries and reliance on state and national regulation.
  • The lack of financial resources or limitations regarding the use of the financing money.
  • The lack of public interest or cultural resistance to the issue
  • The lack of technological innovation to support the program’s goals


Learn More Resources:

Municipal Plan for mitigation and adaptation of climate change – PlanClima Curitiba

Curitiba clean energy project is awarded in Berlin with US$ 1 million


Josiana Saquelli Koch, Coordinator for Curitiba’s Climate Action Programme



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