Government Attitude Towards Environmental Regulation in Brazil

Government Attitude Towards Environmental Regulation in Brazil

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Brazil Country Manager Elis Valeria Anginski Cotosky

As already mentioned in the previous Climate Scorecard post, Brazil has committed to reducing carbon emissions by 43% by 2030, and becoming carbon neutral by 2050. However, the country is currently going in the opposite direction, with a recent increase in overall carbon emissions, due mostly to deforestation.

The main obstacle preventing Brazil from starting the path reducing emissions and becoming carbon neutral is the government’s posture towards environmental regulation. A few examples about how the current administration is harming progress include:

  • Area reduction in land conservation units
  • Abolishment of environmental fines
  • Boycott of land monitoring operations conducted by IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources)
  • Attacks against INPE (National Institute for Space Research), the most credible institution regarding deforestation monitoring in Brazil
  • Loss of international financing for amazon protection, including cuts of almost USD 300 million from Germany and Norway
  • And more recently, the law project 490, which is trying to take protected indigenous land to promote mining and agriculture in those regions

This lack of political will and ability to make progress towards reducing emissions will prevent Brazil from reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement for two main reasons. Firstly, the poor regulation aforementioned leads to an increase in emissions, and the problem is only getting bigger as the amazon deforestation is reaching a point of no return, like many other biomes in the country.

Secondly, with the lack of political will and focus on the issue, there is no dedicated budget or plan to support a science-based approach to climate change. Without this, it is almost impossible to create an ecosystem in which all the involved stakeholders, including the producers, companies, and consumers can truly understand the impact of climate change and how to address it.

In short, the current situation in Brazil is very complicated, as the country’s government is only agreeing to the NDC on paper but going in the opposite direction in reality. This is demonstrated by the increase in deforestation and the decrease in science policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Strategies for Overcoming These Obstacles

With the upcoming presidential and governmental elections in 2022, Brazilian citizens will decide as to whether they want the current government approach to the environment to continue.

Besides elections other important steps to strengthen Brazilian capabilities to combat climate change include:

  • Gather efforts to educate producers on greener ways to manage their agricultural business as mentioned on Climate Scorecard post on policy recommendations for Brazil
  • Partnerships between national and international organizations that can provide technical and financial support to reduce the deforestation issue in Brazil
  • Demonstration efforts to prove that it is technologically and financially viable to develop products from the land without depleting all the resources from it and emitting large amounts of GHG in the process.


Contact Person

Environment Minister

Joaquim Leite

Phone: (61) 2028-1057/1289/1422

Esplanada dos Ministérios, Building B, 5º floor

70068-900 – Brasília – DF


WEF – The Amazon might be past the point of being saved

G1 – 15 facts to understand the disastrous environmental policies in Brazil

Correio Brasiliense – Understand the PL 490 and how it affects indigenous land

Folha – 14 times when Bolsonaro actions impacted negatively the environment

DW – Former climate power, Brazil moves further and further away from Paris Agreement targets


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