Brazil: Climate Progress Report

Brazil: Climate Progress Report

In view of the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% endorsed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the UNFCCC, we have selected below 7 indicators from reliable sources in Brazil, including independent, government and sector organizations:

About Gas Emission (Total/Relevant Sectors)

The indicators 1 and 2 are published annually by SEEG – System of Estimates of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Removals, a non-governmental organization derived from the Climate Observatory, and we have the last report published on the performance in 2020.

From these indicators we can say, from an environmental point of view, 46% of greenhouse gas emissions come from MUTF – Land Use Change and Forestry, in particular fires, invasions and deforestation of land in the Amazon, protected areas and Indigenous lands.

The numbers are not encouraging. The increase in gross emissions of greenhouse gases in Brazil in 2020 was 9.5%. In the year in which the COVID-19 pandemic stopped the world economy and caused an unprecedented reduction of almost 7% in global emissions, the country went against the grain of the rest of the world, possibly becoming the only major issuer on the planet to register a high.

About Monitoring of Burnt Areas

The indicators 3 to 6 are published monthly with a delay of 4-6 months by INPE – Space Research Institute, government agency. The most recent numbers are positive (December 2021), and satellite images show a 34.5% reduction in the areas of fire compared to Dec 2020.

About Licensing of New Vehicles by Fuel

The indicator 7 is published annually by ANFAVEA – National Association of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, a business entity. Brazil is among the 10 largest markets in the world, occupying the 4th position in both light and heavy vehicles. ANFAVEA is concerned with the path of decarbonization of the automotive sector in Brazil. We have positive factors here, such as licensing a fleet mostly powered by flex/fuel, which makes it possible to use ethanol, a renewable fuel, cheaper than gasoline. The licensing of electric vehicles increased 78% in 2021, but it is still small in number of units, it is necessary to make this technology cheaper to expand markets. The downside is that we still have a heavy fleet dependent on diesel, which generates negative impacts both on the environment and on prices, such as food, medicines, merchandise, etc. Brazil has the challenge of making the consumption of the heavy fleet clean, through the use of renewable fuels.


According to the latest report published by SEEG, “Analysis of Brazilian greenhouse gas emissions and their implications for Brazil’s climate goals 1970 – 2020”, the deforestation control policies that were in force between 2004 and 2012, and with more difficulties until 2018, were dismantled in 2019, when the federal government paralyzed the PPCDAm (Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Amazon), revoking it at the end of the first year of Jair Bolsonaro’s term.

Environmental agencies, such as Ibama and ICMBio, were weakened, social control was repressed and attempts to make environmental laws more flexible have been made. The result is the loss of control over deforestation, which has not been reduced even after the Army’s Law and Order Guarantee operations in the region.

Despite the high rate of deforestation in the Amazon, the loss of native vegetation in the Cerrado occurs at a proportionally three times faster rate. Cerrado emissions accounted for 11.4% of MUTF emissions, mainly due to the increase in deforestation in the Matopiba region, a region formed by the states of Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí and Bahia, especially for agriculture.

It is therefore necessary to greatly increase the ambition of mitigation actions (reduction of emissions) to avoid the worst effects of climate change. And SEEG data show that Brazil is on the opposite path. Even with a downturn in the economy – GDP in 2020 had a retraction of 4.1% – greenhouse gas emissions accelerated, the highest percentage since 2003. In 2020, the country became poorer and polluted more.


This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Brazil Country Manager Carlos Alexandre de Oliveira


Climate Scorecard depends on support from people like you.

We are a team of researchers providing information on efforts to reduce global emissions. We help make you better informed and able to advocate for improved climate change efforts. Donations of any amount are welcome.