Brazil: A Climate Look Past and Forward

Looking Back 2022: Brazil’s Presidential Election/

Looking Forward 2023: Promised Efforts to Cleanup the Amazon


The 2022 presidential elections were undoubtedly the most important event of the year and its impact toward mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.

On November 18, 2022, Brazil, along with Russia and the United States, was highlighted as a “dishonourable mention” in the anti-award “Fossil Colossal” awarded at COP27 by the international network of NGOs CAN (Climate Action Network). The country received the anti-award for the body of work of the Bolsonaro government, for “having spent the last four years trying to detonate the Paris Agreement”.

Regardless of political convictions, the award is fair, as it is a fact that in the last four years, we have seen a real dismantling of environmental policy and inspection bodies. As a consequence, the growth of deforestation, fires, prospecting, mining, logging and improper agricultural occupation. The numbers don’t lie, Brazil has remained among the main emitters of greenhouse gases, even with an incredible energy matrix.


The Climate Observatory, a network of 73 civil society organizations, has outlined a vision for Brazil to go beyond carbon neutrality by 2050. This consists of leveraging its comparative advantages, the country can become the world’s first major economy to sequester greenhouse gases. This effort can result in Brazil becoming carbon negative as early as 2045.

This vision guides the strategy Brazil 2045—Building an Environmental Potency, a document that was delivered to presidential candidates before the elections.

Resulting from the work of more than a hundred experts from 63 organizations, it presents a set of measures to be adopted at the beginning of the next government to rebuild the country’s environmental governance and advance the climate agenda.

The document contains short-term proposals and very short-term actions, which consist of reversing the toxic legacy of the Bolsonaro government. They involve the repeal of decrees and other normative acts and the publication of updated rules, with the resumption of extinct policies, diverted or weakened by the current president. Others are about restoring participation and social control in public policies and recovering and expanding transparency in the federal administration, which was greatly reduced in the mandate that ends this year.

The proposals formulated are divided into eight main themes: 1. Climate policy and international agreements; 2. Prevention and control of deforestation; 3. Bioeconomy and agrosilvopastoral activities; 4. Climate justice; 5. Energy; 6. Biodiversity and coastal areas; 7. Industry and Executive Summary 13 urban management; 8. Governance and financing of the national environmental policy.


Luís Inácio Lula da Silva reaffirmed at COP27 the commitment to “zero” deforestation in the country (illegal or not) and included degradation in the goal for 2030. “There is no climate security for the world without a protected Amazon. We will spare no effort to bring deforestation and degradation of our biomes to zero by 2030”, said the president-elect, citing the date provided for in the Declaration of Glasgow on Forests, signed last year, at COP26.

Lula stated that environmental crimes “grew at a frightening rate” during the government of Jair Bolsonaro and “will be fought relentlessly” starting in January. “We are going to strengthen the oversight bodies and monitoring systems, which have been dismantled over the past four years. We will strictly punish those responsible for any illegal activity, be it prospecting, mining, logging or improper agricultural occupation.”

With this speech, Brazil returns positively to the international scene, and it will be up to the President-elect to fulfill the promises made to the international community, already in the biennium 2023-2024.

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


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