This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Brazil Country Manager Elis Cotosky
Brazil Suffered from Two Extreme Weather Events in 2021: Floods and Droughts
In June 2021, the Northern part of Brazil (where the Amazon Rainforest is located) was hit with floods. Amazon was the most affected state and its capital, Manaus, had the largest flood in its 119-year-long history. In many parts of the city, it was only possible to move from one place to another through elevated walkways. According to the Civil Defense Secretariat of Amazon, more than 450 thousand people were affected by this weather event.
Droughts occurred in the Midwestern and Southeastern parts of the country between September 2020 to March 2021. According to the National Meteorology System (SNM), this was these regions’ worst droughts in 100 years. The droughts resulted in two main problems: less crop productivity and less water input for energy generation in the hydroelectric plants. With that, the prices of food and energy went up.
Although part of these extreme weather events in Brazil are explained by the natural phenomenon La Niña, which can happen every 2-7 years, the intensity of the effects were alarming for Brazilian ecosystems and the overall population.
The country has shown a poor capability to deal with the extreme weather events that occurred in 2021. With a slow and insufficient response to both the flood and the drought issues, many people were harmed by these events.
In the Amazon state, for instance, the government promised to grant 300 BRL for 2 months for the affected families, but only reached 25% of the eligible people. With this, more than 300,000 vulnerable people were left without assistance and had to either move from their houses or live in suboptimal conditions.
Regarding the drought, the government responded with a very passive position. The Ministry of Mines and Energy’s only solution was to suggest water consumption reduction in the affected regions. In an interview with BBC Brazil, Carla Dias, chief economist for CM Capital, said that water rationing was considered but ultimately not applied since it usually brings a high political burden to the government.
Current ability of the country to adapt to extreme weather conditions it faced in 2021:
Rating: ** Fair
Four Stars (****): Outstanding
Three stars (***): Good
Two stars (**): Fair
One star (*): Unprepared
Bento Albuquerque, Mines and Energy Minister
Phone: (61) 2032-5401/5932/5041