Brazil Emission Reduction Policy

The National Policy on Climate Change (PNMC)  

During the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in December 2009 in Copenhagen, Brazil announced its voluntary targets for GHG emissions reduction. Their National Policy on Climate Change (PNMC) commits to an expected reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions of 36.1% to 38.9% (Art. 12, Law n. 12187-2009) in relation to a historical average calculated by sector and projected to 2020. The emissions reduction targets are mainly focused on land use change and deforestation activities, Brazil´s main sources of emissions.

These targets were intended to be achieved through the implementation of the sectorial plans, as follows: a) Action Plan to Prevent and Control Deforestation in the Amazon (PPCDAm); b) Action Plan to Prevent and Control Deforestation and Fire in Cerrado (PPCerrado); c) Ten Year Plan for Energy Expansion (PDE); d) Plan for Low Carbon Emissions in the Agriculture Sector (Plano ABC); e) Plan to Reduce Emissions from Steel (Plano da Siderurgia); f) Transportation (Plano de Transporte), Industry and Mining, (Plano da Indústria e da Mineração) Health (Plano da Saúde) and Pisciculture (Plano da Piscicultura).

However, the new Brazilian government has decided not to move forward with these sectoral plans. They see the plans led by different ministries as too fragmented and ineffective. The new government has issued a draft document for implementing the National Policy on Climate Change that integrates the approaches that were put forward by the different sectors. The government has made the new draft integrated plan open for public comment through June of 2017. They expect to finalize a new integrated plan by the end of this year.

Learn More

Sources in Portuguese

Ministry of Environment news page – call for contribution and deadline extension.

WRI Brazil blog post on opening of public consultation on the NDC implementation strategy by the Ministry of Environment

Instituto Akatu – Brazilian NGO focusing on consumption and environment – post on consultation

Sources in English

Science Magazine article

WRI blog assessment of Brazil´s INDC by WRI Brazil climate team

NRDC brief on Brazil´s NDCs

Article by the Climate Observatory translated into English.

Brazil Extreme Weather Event

Five Year Drought in Northeast Brazil

The Northeast (NE) region of Brazil encompasses the states of Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí and Rio Grande do Norte; it covers 18 % of the Brazilian territory and is home to over 52 million people. The NE is known for its beautiful beaches and friendly people. It is also known for the lowest Human Development Index (HDI) in the country, and its vulnerability to climate change, particularly prolonged droughts and flooding. The region is composed of mostly savannah land (Caatinga) in the interior and remnants of tropical rainforest (the Atlantic Forest) in the coastal areas, most of which—over 90%—are in the state of Bahia.

The Atlantic Forest has suffered extensive deforestation since the Portuguese colonised Brazil, in 1500. First for the extraction of hard wood (mostly the Caesalpinia echinata Lam, which is now almost extinct), and then in the early 17th century, for sugar cane plantations, which intensified in the second half of the 19th century. In the mid 1970s, the cocoa plantations and the pulp and paper industry further contributed to the degradation of this biome. There is an estimated 52,000 Kmsq left of the Atlantic Forest in the NE region, corresponding to about 5% of the original forested area found by the Portuguese in the 16th century.  Given this history, the region is particularly vulnerable to desertification, aggravated by climate change.

The Northeast region of Brazil has suffered a five-year drought that is expected to reach a record six-year period by the end of 2017. This is arguably the worst drought on record in the past 100 years. There is high risk of wild fires in remaining forest areas, drying-out of reservoirs and famine in rural areas.
The state of Bahia, a popular tourist destination both domestically and internationally, is suffering a period of unusual drought since 2011. This drought has affected over a million people in the region. Summer (December through March) in the NE is usually the rainy season. However, the 2016/2017 summer has been an exceptional one. Per the National Water Agency (ANA) that monitors droughts, there has been a significant decrease in rainfall in most of the region. Maranhão and Piauí have contributed with normal patterns of rainfall to lessen the general impact of the unusually dry period in other states, including Bahia. Most of the Bahia territory was classified as exceptionally or very dry and the affected areas have expanded in the past years. Impacts were considered as long term (ANA, 2017).
Feira de Santana is a town located 100 km from the state capital, Salvador.  In the past 12 months, the average rainfall in the city has been 12 times less than expected. The State University of Bahia in Feira de Santana forecast 50 mm rainfall for the first quarter of 2017, but so far, only 4mm has fallen in the city. The city has been in a state of emergency since 2011.

Farmers are being hit severely by the drought, and over 64,000 people living in the rural areas surrounding the city are suffering from water shortages and diminished crops.  They must walk up to 300 m to fetch water from a spring, which by now is contaminated and almost dry. One farmer reports that it hasn’t rained since July 2016, “even the palm trees are dying”, and he has no hope of recovering his small cassava plantation.

Since December last year, the Ministry of National Integration (MIN) published ordinances acknowledging an emergency in 277 municipalities in Bahia—65% of the cities in the state—due to the NE drought. The measure allows municipalities access to financial aid from federal emergency funds and resources, including water provision and health assistance. The measure also provides support to farmers in debt due to crop losses, and further subsidies from the Brazilian Social Development Bank (BNDES) for agriculture.

The NE region is historically vulnerable to desertification and is expected to suffer the most from climate change. Despite warnings from climate experts and scientific institutions in Brazil, no long-term policies are being implemented in the region to address desertification enhanced by climate change.

Learn More

Sources in Portuguese

TRIBUNA DA BAHIA. Newspaper. Published 21 December 2016. Available at  

G1 website. Published 10 March 2017, 10:45pm at

G1 website. Published 08 March 2017. Available at

National Water Agency (ANA)

EBC Brasil. Official communications agency. Published 26 January 2017. Available at

FOLHA DE SÃO PAULO. Newspaper. Published in 19 March 2017. Available at

Brazil Media Organizations

Broadcast Media

Globo News is a national cable TV channel founded in 1996 that belongs to Grupo Globo (TV, radio, newspaper, online media), the most powerful media group in the country and in Latin America. In 2016, Grupo Globo was the only Brazilian company listed as one of the ten largest media groups in the world.

Globo News is a 24/7 news channel that includes programs on sustainability, and covers national and international issues related to climate change, such as events, policies and actions. It addresses a more educated, higher income audience, since it is subscription based. Globo News director, Ms. Eugênia Moreyra reported that in June 2016, there were 19 million households subscribing to cable TV, as per official data, and an estimated audience of approximately 58 million viewers in Brazil. This is expected to double by 2021. Globo News is amongst the 10 most watched channels in Brazil, and is the leader in the news segment. The cable TV channel congregates a strong team of journalists, arguably the best professionals in the country. It is perhaps the Brazilian equivalent of CNN, since it is privately owned. The Grupo Globo includes an open TV channel that replicates or shares many of the special stories aired by Globo News in its news programs.

Many reporters cover environmental issues related to national politics, international affairs, and science and development. Their team of specialized reporters covering environment and climate change includes André Trigueiro, Sônia Bridi and Fernando Gabeira.

As a mainstream media channel, Globo News tends to be neutral, but generally supports climate change claims. Many stories feature climate change impacts, interviews with scientists and policy makers, as well as other stakeholders in climate, energy and forestry related issues; they also cover international UN conferences such as the UNFCCC and the Biodiversity COPs.

Content Samples:

“Cidades e Soluções” is a weekly 30-min special show on cities and environmental issues, including climate change, hosted by André Trigueiro, a renowned journalist specializing in environmental issues. Trigueiro is the editor-in-chief of the program.

André Trigueiro also edits the website Mundo Sustentável.  His details can be found in

He covered UNFCCC climate negotiations, and the show featured COP22 and the Paris agreement. It was aired in December 2016, and can be viewed in Portuguese at

The UNFCCC negotiations and COP22 was also featured in the News show in November 2016. It can be viewed in Portuguese at

Contact: R. Von Martius, 22 – Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22460-040 Brazil
Tel: +55 21 4002-2884; Website:
Linked In contact for Alexandre Roldão:

Print Media

Valor Econômico is a national newspaper specializing in economic issues. They also have a newsletter and a website: Valor Econômico is a publication belonging to Valor Economico S/A, and part of the Infoglobo Comunicações e Participações S/A of Grupo Globo.

Information on staff and collaborators can be found at

Key staff include the General Director: Frederic Zoghaib Kachar and editor Vera Brandimarte.

Special reporter Daniela Chiaretti joined Valor in 2005, and is responsible for covering environmental and climate change issues. Daniela is a renowned professional, who has worked for key media organizations since 1990; she was editor-in-chief at Marie Claire magazine, and in 2011, she won an acknowledged prize for her investigation on ice melting in the Artic, in July 2010. The article in Portuguese can be read at

The editorials don´t take any stance on controversial issues, but are generally supportive of climate change science. Given the space allocated to the subject, one can infer that they support climate policies.

The newspaper is a reputable source of information mostly on economic issues, and publishes good quality articles by high profile guest writers in its section “Opinião”.

Content Samples:

Paulo Saldiva, physician, professor and scientist, wrote an article on health and climate change published on 8 December 2016. The article reports on the impacts of climate change on public health, including the spread of infectious diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, such as zyka, dengue and yellow fever. The number of infected people has grown steadily in the past years due to the proliferation of these insects, due to increased temperatures. He quotes an article published in Lancet stating that over 400,000 climate-related deaths occur each year, caused by famine, respiratory and infectious diseases worldwide. Available at

An article by scientist and policy maker Carlos Nobre was published in 30 January 2017, to discuss the use of climate science to combat the political use of droughts in the Northeast of Brazil. Previously, politicians used to obtain— and waste—resources to address the social problems during periods of drought, such as mass migrations. There was no way to predict climate, so funds were embezzled or wasted. Since 2012, with the knowledge garnered due to investments from climate change mitigation and adaptation programs, management of funding for the NE droughts has been improved and adequately distributed. Thus, quality of life for the inhabitants of drought-affected areas has improved and migration has been greatly reduced. Available at

Contact: Av. Francisco Matarazzo, 1500, Torre New York, 1º, 2º e 3º andares – CEP: 05001-100 São Paulo – SP; Tel: (11) 3767-1000 and Fax: (11) 3767-1348; E-mail:
Daniela Chiaretti´s e-mail is

Internet and Online Media

#ClimaInfo is a newsletter produced by a team of qualified and renowned professionals, including climate experts and journalists.  #ClimaInfo is the Brazilian associate of an unbranded international communications network on climate change, the Global Strategic Communication Council (GSCC). The GSCC has branches in 18 countries, including in Europe, China, India and the US. They have an important mailing list of stakeholders that they send daily news to. They also target the media in Brazil. They select, summarize in Portuguese, and send the links of climate change news published in Brazil and internationally. Many stories published by mainstream channels are briefed by #ClimateInfo.

There is a plan to set up a Brazilian NGO corporation to be led by journalists Délcio Rodrigues and Silvia Dias. The founders are renowned environmental experts and journalists; besides Délcio and Silvia, Cláudio Angelo and Ana Toni are the Board members.

Their upcoming corporation will foster environmental research and communication about climate change. So far they have been producing the newsletter, but they will soon have their own website. Despite being a new organization, the team is composed of seasoned and well-known professionals with strong ties to the environmental community in Brazil.

The main editors are Silvia Dias and Délcio Rodrigues. They support climate change policies and the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Contact: E-mail:; Mobile / WhatsApp: +55 11 98374 8000
Skype: delciorodrigues

Brazil Subnational Best Practices


The State of Sao Paulo—The Secretariat for the Environment of the State of São Paulo—SMA-SP was established in 1986 to coordinate and integrate activities related to environmental protection. Since 2008, it also oversees sectorial public policies that impact the environment. CETESB, its Environmental Agency, is responsible for environmental quality monitoring and licencing in the State of São Paulo. CETESB is also an acknowledged reference centre for environmental issues of the United Nations. CETESB hosts PROCLIMA, the programme in charge of implementing the state climate change law, passed in November 2009 (PEMC—Política Estadual de Mudanças Climáticas).

One of the key actions led by the State in partnership with the City of São Paulo and the private sector is the landfill methane capture and energy generation which was a pioneer project in Brazil under the Clean Development Mechanism—CDM.

It was the first State to establish an emissions reduction target, followed by the national climate law in December. Activities include capacity building, monitoring and reporting climate action, outreach and policy making on climate related issues in the state of São Paulo. Since then, the state has developed its greenhouse gas inventory.

Learn More

For information on SP´s environmental system see  

For information on  the state´s climate legislation see

On climate related measures, see

On climate action under PROCLIMA see (in Portuguese only)

For information on the landfill gas project see


Recife—Recife´s administration has been engaged in climate actions since 2012. In 2014, the city developed its greenhouse gas emissions inventory, and passed Law 18011/2014, that established a climate action plan, prioritizing transportation and greening. It was the first local government in the Northeast region of the country to commit to GHG emissions reduction targets.

A flagship of the city´s policies includes the Porto Leve initiative that fosters innovation in urban mobility. The initiative is a coordinated effort that also involves the city´s secretariats for transport, science and technology. Porto Leve was established in 2015 to provide innovative and sustainable services at the Parque Tecnológico do Porto Digital (The Digital Port Technological Park). It focuses on three main areas with the following objectives:
• To promote sustainable mobility
• To foster security and traffic management
• To promote technology research in the Park related to sustainable and innovative urban mobility.

The initiative includes providing bike sharing, electric vehicles, smart parking, public transportation and mobility information to users and visitors in the area.

Maria Aparecida Pedrosa Bezerra (Cida Pedrosa), Municipal Environment Secretary
Mail: Rua Fernando Cesar, 65 – Encruzilhada – CEP: 52041-170 Recife, PE, Brazil Department: Secretaria de Meio Ambiente e Sustentabilidade do Recife – SMAS. Recife´s Environment and Sustainability Secretariat.
Secretary Magda
Telephones: (+55 81) 3355-5801. Advisor Carlos Ribeiro-tel: / (81)9488-6700

Learn More

For Recife´s greenhouse gas inventory, climate law, and other relevant actions, see
(in Portuguese only)

For further information on Recife´s Porto Leve initiative to promote sustainable mobility see  (in Portuguese only)

Contact: Francisco Saboya, President

Salvador—The city of Salvador has been steadily improving its environmental record since 2009, investing in mobility, green areas, environmental education and waste management. The city has many challenges and a long way to go, but is on track to becoming a model city in the Northeast region of Brazil. The state government of Bahia partners with the city to implement public transport and waste management. The city developed a greenhouse gas inventory in 2014 and integrates climate policies in the city´s strategy towards sustainability. Actions include implementing cycle lanes, increasing pedestrian areas, and building awareness campaigns on waste and recycling.

André Fraga, Municipal Secretary, Secretaria Cidade Sustentável de Salvador – SECIS
Salvador´s Municipal Sustainable City Secretariat
Mail: Av. Sete de Setembro, 89 – Ed. Oxumaré, 3 andar – Centro,  Salvador, BA, Brazil.
Telephone: (+55 71) 3202-5630 / 5646
Email:;  SecretaryRosangela Araújo

Learn More

For further information on Salvador´s environmental department and activities see  (in Portuguese only)

For the report and municipal inventory on greenhouse gas emissions see  (in Portuguese only)

Sao Paulo—Gilberto Natalini is a practicing physician, and São Paulo city council member with the Green Party (Partido Verde – PV) in his fourth mandate. He was elected for a fifth mandate beginning in 2017, and was appointed Municipal Secretary for the 4-year mandate beginning in 01 January 2017.

Natalini is a renowned environmental activist, leading policies for the city at the Council, including climate change, health and urban issues. Since 2001, his cabinet organizes an important yearly conference on Cleaner Production and Climate Change that gathers over 900 participants from all walks of life.

The Environment Secretariat—SVMA is responsible for environmental policies at the local level, interactions with other bodies on related issues, and for maintenance of parks and green areas in the city. The SVMA led the process towards passing the city´s climate law in 2009, and coordinates the Committee that implements it. The city of São Paulo was the first major city in South America to pass a climate law and establish emissions reductions targets. The Committee on Climate Change and Ecoefficiency gathers government officials and civil society representatives who oversee the implementation of the measures in compliance to the climate law.

Gilberto Natalini, Secretary (as from 01 January 2017), Secretaria Municipal do Verde e do Meio Ambiente de São Paulo – Municipal Environment Secretariat, State Government – São Paulo
Mail: Rua do Paraíso, 387 – Paraiso CEP: 04103-001 – São Paulo, SP Brasil
Telephone: (+55 11) 3171-2154
Email: and

Brazil Leaders and Opponents

Government Official
Everton Frask Lucero
National Secretary, Climate Change Secretariat at the Environment Ministry (Secretaria de Mudanças Climáticas do Ministério do Meio Ambiente – SMCQ/MMA)

Secretary Lucero is a career diplomat. Before being appointed for this ministerial position in June 2016, he was the head of the environment department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE), as well as key advisor on climate to the head of the Brazilian delegation to the UNFCCC. In partnership with the FBMC, this department coordinates participation of civil society in COPs as members of the Brazilian delegation, with access to all official meetings in which Brazil diplomats participate.

The climate change secretariat (SMCQ) was established by the MMA to address climate policies and measures at the federal level. Its representatives participate in international negotiations providing technical support to the MRE. The SMCQ coordinated the climate change sectorial plans with civil society and other areas of government.

Government Official
José Sarney Filho (Zequinha Sarney)
Environment Minister, Ministry of Environment (Ministério do Meio Ambiente – MMA)

Minister José Sarney Filho, is an environmental congressman with the Green Party. He was appointed as Minister for a second term at the MMA, in June 2016. He is in his ninth consecutive mandate in Congress, and was Environment Minister from 1999 to 2002.

The Environment Ministry (MMA) oversees environmental policy and monitoring in Brazil. Together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE) and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), it is responsible for the implementation of the National Climate Change Policy law (PNMC) passed in December 2009. The MMA is responsible for monitoring, reporting and controlling deforestation, Brazil´s highest emitting sector. Despite its very limited power amongst the other ministries, and very little say in final decisions taken by the President, it has a key role in environmental licencing and contentious issues involving land tenure in the Amazon region. This is a sensitive issue and source of conflicts, mostly with the Ministry of Agriculture.

Contact: Chief of staff: Diva Alves Carvalho

Climate Program  Advocate
Alfredo Hélio Sirkis
Executive Secretary at the Brazilian Climate Change Forum (Fórum Brasileiro de Mudanças Climáticas–FBMC)

Alfredo Sirkis is a writer, journalist, and a renowned environmental and political activist since the early 1970s. In October 2016 he was appointed as the FBMC Executive Secretary by President Michel Temer. Sirkis is a former congressman (2012-2015), a city councillor for four mandates, having served as environmental secretary (1993-1996) and urban planning secretary (2001-2006) in Rio de Janeiro. He has been advocating on behalf of climate protection for over ten years and is the sponsor of a proposal to establish a carbon pricing mechanism being discussed by key players in Brazil.

The Brazilian Climate Change Forum (FBMC) is a national multi-stakeholder advisory body, established by Federal Decree in 2001. The FBMC is chaired by the President of Brazil, with whom a meeting is held once a year. It coordinates outreach activities and public participation vis-a-vis climate policies and measures. Since its inception, it has a key role in increasing knowledge about climate change outside the government and scientific communities, thus placing it higher in the environmental political agenda of both civil society and other levels of government.

Climate Program Advocate
Carlos Rittl
Executive Secretary of the Observatório do Clima – OC (Climate Observatory Network)

Carlos Rittl has an extensive biography in environmental and climate issues, both academically and professionally. He is an expert on environmental policies and has been an activist for over 20 years. He coordinated Greenpeace´s climate campaign in Brazil (2005-2007), and WWF Brasil´s energy and climate program (2009 – 2013). Since 2004, Carlos has participated in the COPs. In 2013, he became the OC´s Executive Secretary and is a spokesperson on behalf of the climate change CSO community in Brazil.
Observatório do Clima (OC), or Climate Observatory (OC) is a Civil Society Organization, a multi-stakeholder network created in 2002. It has 35 members, amongst civil society groups from the whole country, engaged in climate change advocacy. The OC coordinates an initiative to monitor sectorial GHG emissions inventories and reports at the national level. It developed an online platform for GHG accounting (SEEG) that issues several reports on Brazilian GHG emissions, and provides insight on the country´s performance to fight climate change.


Climate Program Advocate
Rachel Biderman
WRI Brasil Executive Director

Rachel Biderman is an acknowledged environmental leader and activist with a solid academic and professional background.

Rachel is the Director for World Resources Institute Brasil (WRI Brasil). Rachel is considered a key mover and shaker in climate change throughout Brazil. During her tenure as Deputy Coordinator at FGV’s Center for Sustainability Studies (2008-2011), she coordinated several projects including the launch of the Brazilian Green House Gas Protocol. She is currently also a co-coordinator of the Brazilian Climate Change Forum, established by President Cardoso in 2001. Rachel is a Board member of several socio-environmental organisations, including WWF Brasil. She was formerly the President of Greenpeace Brasil’s Board between 2011 and 2013, and is a member of the Forest GAC of the World Economic Forum since 2014.


Climate Program Opponent
Blairo Maggi
Minister, Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento (Ministry of Agriculture, Farming and Supply)

Blairo Maggi is one of the most important soy producers in the world and the biggest individual producer in Brazil. Maggi began his political career as deputy in 1994, becoming an elected senator in1999 for an eight-year mandate; he was once again elected for office in 2011. He was appointed Agriculture Minister in May 2016. Blairo Maggi was the governor of Mato Grosso for 2 consecutive mandates (2003-2007 and 2007-2010), and was known as a fierce opponent to climate change. However, he became more moderate in his second term as governor, supporting the Mato Grosso´s climate action policies which culminated in State Law 9878, passed in 2013.

The Ministry of Agriculture (MAPA) oversees policies and management of agriculture, provides support to agribusiness, regulates and enforces norms on services related to the sector. Given the importance of agribusiness to the Brazilian economy, it´s a powerful stakeholder, and usually an opponent to environmental policies. Recently they lobbied against the MMA´s transparency policy to divulge data on rural properties and individuals that includes their environmental record (Cadastro Ambiental Rural).


Learn More

For further information on the MMA see
For further information on Mr. Sirkis see (in Portuguese only)
For further information on the Agriculture Ministry, see

Brazil Leading Research Study

Research Study: “Brazil 2040: Scenarios and Alternatives for Climate Change Adaptation,” Brazilian Government (2015); “Greenhouse Gas Emissions System,” Climate Observatory, 2014

In the last 5 years, 2 important climate change studies were published in Brazil: ‘Brazil 2040: scenarios and alternatives for climate change adaptation’, partially released in 2015, coordinated by the Strategic Affairs Secretary (SAE) from the Brazilian government and the Greenhouse Gas Emission Estimate System (SEEG), starting in 2014, from the Climate Observatory, a civil society initiative.

‘Brazil 2040: scenarios and alternatives for climate change adaptation’ was considered the most important study on how different sectors will respond to climate change. It was released in October 2015 without any announcement from the Brazilian government—the team responsible for the study was fired months before without any further notice. More than 30 files were uploaded in the Strategic Affairs Secretary website, some of them were still draft versions. The information was not organized and no executive summary was written. In November 2016, none of those files could be found—the website is down and SAE was extinguished last year.

The Greenhouse Gas Emission Estimate System is a non-government initiative that comprises annual estimates of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Brazil, analytic documents on the emission evolution and an online portal with straightforward and clear information about the methods and the data generated in the system.

Greenhouse gas emission estimates are performed according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines, based on data from the Second Brazilian Inventory of Anthropogenic Greenhouse Gas Emission and Removal, elaborated by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), and based on data gathered from governmental reports, institutes, research centers, sector entities and non-governmental organizations.

SEEG was published for the first time in 2013, and it is annually updated. Five sectors are assessed—Agriculture, Energy, Land Use Change, Industrial Processes and Waste—with annual data since 1970. Since 2014, it also presents estimates for all Brazilian states. SEEG ended the Brazilian government hegemony on the country’s data on GHG emissions and it became the most complete GHG emission database in Brazil, allowing emissions data to be crossed with a variety of socio-economic indicators and production.

Learn More

SEEG website:

Brazil Emissions Reduction Policy

Brazil: Action Plan for Prevention and Control of the Legal Amazon Deforestation (PPCDAm)

Beginning in 2004, successful public policies at the federal level were aimed at reducing the deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon. This made possible the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions  in the country since land use has been responsible for the majority of Brazil’s emissions (see Image 1 below). Still in 2014, most of Brazilian GHG emissions were related to deforestation, degradation or conversion of soil between rural activities and burning of forests residues—corresponding to 42% of total gross emissions (SEEG, 2016). Brazil is responsible for 10% of land use global emissions (it ranks in 2nd globally, behind Indonesia).

Given that most deforestation emissions have corresponded to the Brazilian Amazon (59% in 2014 – SEEG, 2016), in 2004 the government started implementing the Action Plan for Prevention and Control of the Legal Amazon Deforestation (PPCDAm). This was a governmental effort that significantly contributed to the decrease of deforestation. Under the umbrella of PPCDAm policies, Brazil has achieved impressive results in reducing emissions from deforestation, mainly by reducing the deforestation rate in the Brazilian Amazon by 82% between 2004 and 2014 (See Image 1 below).


Image 1 Brazil’s total emissions: 1990-2014 (SEEG, 2016)

The Action Plan is supported in part by international cooperation agencies from Germany, Norway and Japan. It is implemented with governments from the state and local levels and civil society actors. PPCDAm is organized in 3 axes:

  • Agrarian and Land Management (e.g.: implementation of frameworks for management of public forests and the creation of conservation areas);
  • Monitoring and Environmental Control (e.g.: Real Time System for Detection of Deforestation – DETER, a satellite-based system that enables frequent and quick identification of deforestation hot spots, that enhanced monitoring and targeting capacity, making it easier for law enforcers to act upon areas with illegal deforestation activity);
  • Fostering Sustainable Production Activities (e.g.: guidelines for a new model of development).

Brazil’s intended Nationally Determined Contribution towards achieving the objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change says that related to land use change and forests, the country is committed to:

  • strengthening and enforcing the implementation of the Forest Code, at federal, state and municipal levels;
  • strengthening policies and measures with a view to achieve, in the Brazilian Amazon, zero illegal deforestation by 2030 and compensating for greenhouse gas emissions from legal suppression of vegetation by 2030;
  • restoring and reforesting 12 million hectares of forests by 2030, for multiple purposes;
  • enhancing sustainable native forest management systems, through georeferencing and tracking systems applicable to native forest management, with a view to curbing illegal and unsustainable practices.

In 2015, the 3rd phase (2012-2015) of PPCDAm was concluded and it is currently under evaluation. The recent political crisis in Brazil may have postponed actions on this area. In addition, in 2015, the Amazon Deforestation Monitoring Program (PRODES), part of PPCDAm, showed that there was a deforestation rate of 5.831 km2 between August 2014 and July 2015—an increase of 16% in relation to 2014, but a reduction of 79% related to 2004. The next yearly rate will be released soon and it is almost certain that there is an increasing trend of deforestation rates for the period August 2015 and July 2016. Moreover, country’s agriculture and livestock, and energy emissions are increasing as well.

Learn More

To see Brazilian emissions by sector, including land use:

For more information about PRODES:

Brazil’s iNDC is available at

Reuters on successful Brazilian efforts to reduce deforestation:

To know more about the Amazon Fund:

Brazil Energy Production Trends

How The Energy System Is Structured

Brazil is the 10th largest energy consumer in the world and the largest in South America. At the same time, it is an important oil and gas producer in the region and the world’s second largest ethanol fuel producer. The governmental agencies responsible for energy policy are the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), the National Council for Energy Policy (CNPE, in the Portuguese-language acronym), the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) and the National Agency of Electricity (ANEEL). The state-owned companies Petrobras and Eletrobrás are the major players in Brazil’s energy sector, as well as Latin America’s.

At the end of the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s, Brazil’s energy sector underwent market liberalization. In 1997, the Petroleum Investment Law was adopted, establishing a legal and regulatory framework, and liberalizing oil production. The key objectives of the law were the creation of the CNPE and the ANP, increased use of natural gas, increased competition in the energy market, and investments in power generation. The state monopoly of oil and gas exploration was ended, and energy subsidies were reduced. However, the government retained monopoly control of key energy complexes and administered the price of certain energy products.

The national energy system underwent a restructuring process during the end of the 20th century with the goals of establishing a regulated yet efficient structure for energy generation, transmission, and distribution. One of the main results of this reform was the establishment of the Sistema Interligado Nacional, or NIS, Portuguese for National Interconnected System, which is the name of the interlinked power grid that serves all Brazilian states and encompasses over 98% of all the energy produced in the country. Although the regulatory changes allowed for the private sector to take part in multiple aspects of the SIN, such as taking part in concession contracts to operate in multiple parts of the system, the new model still retained a number of crucial roles for government agencies, most of which are associated with the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy.

Some of the main entities in charge of regulating and operating the national energy system include:

  • National Electrical System Operator, or ONS: the organization responsible for operating and coordinating the energy generation and transmission systems of SIN
  • Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency, or ANEEL: the government agency responsible for regulating the national energy matrix and related markets
  • Chamber of Commercialization of Electrical Energy, or CCEE: the main operator of the electricity market in Brazil, responsible for monitoring the prices for energy distribution, advising on the activities of national power plants, and launching auctions for generation and distribution contractsIn general terms, the energy sector in Brazil can be considered highly centralized and firmly regulated by the state. Some examples of the state control include the requirement for private players to take part in auctions and concession agreements to enter the national market and price-fixing for the segments of transmission and distribution.

In 2014, the Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis produced an overview of Brazil’s energy sector. The Report notes that Brazil is endowed with abundant energy resources and is well-known for its unusually clean energy matrix. But with recent discoveries of large oil reserves offshore in the pre-salt layer, the long-term demand for oil is expected to increase. Other challenges to the current development model include growing internal energy demands, aging infrastructure, and the emerging impacts of climate change.

The renewable sector is expected to continue to grow and play a vital role in the county’s energy mix. Currently, hydropower is well-developed, but faces challenges regarding its expansion regarding the environmental and social impacts of new dams in the Amazon. Onshore wind power capacity is expanding rapidly, particularly in the Northeast, and the plants are operating at high capacity levels. Bioenergy is already used extensively in the transport (ethanol and biodiesel) and industrial (sugarcane bagasse) sectors, and the country has developed advanced technologies and policies to incentivize the use of bioenergy—ethanol policies are not as prioritized in the energy sector agenda as they used to be. In addition, an increase in the use of biofuels for electricity generation (thermo power) could be expected for the mid- to long-term, but investment in R&D for second generation biofuels is lagging behind, even though there are recent government and industry efforts to reverse this trend.

Large investment in the oil and gas sector is planned, as Brazil seeks to become one of the largest oil producers in the world by 2021. Demand for fossil fuels is also expected to increase, not least because historically, part of the profit margin of the state-controlled company Petrobras (the national oil company) has been used to keep petrol prices in the domestic market low. Demand is then fuelled by the price incentive. The importance of natural gas in the country’s overall energy mix is also growing, and there are signs of renewed interest in exploring Brazil’s gas potential, including its unconventional gas resources—fracking is a possibility. Besides the use in industry, and because of shortages in rainfall, gas has increasingly been used to fire thermoelectric power plants. This trend is expected to continue.

The Brazilian energy sector faces a strategic moment, with a number of challenges and opportunities being presented to policy and decision makers. In the long run, a critical issue relates to the implementation of policies and strategies. Brazil has a well-developed regulatory and policy framework in place; however, increased political interference to achieve short-term goals, lack of strong implementation mechanisms, and other structural problems may hamper the implementation of such plans.

Leading Sources of Energy

What are Brazil’s major sources of energy?  The totality of Brazilian power consumption in 2015 show a wide variety of sources contribute to the nation’s powerhouse:

Sugarcane biomass (16.9%)
Hydraulic (11.3%)
Firewood (8.2%)
Lixivium and other renewable (4.7%)
Oil and oil products (37.3%)
Natural gas (13.7%)
Coal (5.9%)
Uranium (1.3%)
Other non renewable (0.6%)

Brazil is the world’s 12th largest oil producer in the world. At the end of 2005, the proven reserves of Brazil’s natural gas were 306 x 109 m³, with possible reserves expected to be 15 times higher. The main reserves in use are located in Campos and Santos Basins. Brazil has total coal reserves of about 30 billion tons, but the deposits vary by the quality and quantity. Almost all of Brazil’s coal output is steam coal, of which about 85% is fired in power stations.

Brazil has the world’s second-largest known oil shale resources (the Irati shale and lacustrine deposits) and is the second largest shale oil producer after Estonia. Oil shale resources lie in São Mateus do Sul, Paraná, and in Vale do Paraíba. Brazil has developed the world’s largest surface oil shale pyrolysis retort: Petrosix, operated by Petrobras. In 1999, it produced about 200,000 tons.

Brazil is the third largest hydroelectricity producer in the world after China and Canada. In 2007, hydropower accounted for 83% of Brazilian electricity production. The gross theoretical capability exceeds 3,000 TWh per annum, of which 800 TWh per annum is economically exploitable. In 2004, Brazil produced 321TWh of hydropower.

Brazil’s gross wind resource potential is estimated to be about 140 GW, of which 30 GW could be effectively transformed into wind power projects.

The total installed photovoltaic power capacity in Brazil is estimated to be between 12 and 15 MWp, of which 50% is for telecommunications systems and 50% for rural energy systems. It is less than 0.01% of the energy in Brazil.

Due to its ethanol fuel production, Brazil has sometimes been described as a bio-energy superpower. Ethanol fuel in Brazil is produced from sugarcane. Brazil has the largest sugarcane crop in the world, and is the largest exporter of ethanol in the world.

Profiles of Leading Energy Production Companies


Petrobras is a semi-public Brazilian multinational corporation in the petroleum industry headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The company was ranked #58 in the most recent Fortune Global 500 list.

The Brazilian government directly owns 54% of Petrobras’ common shares with voting rights, while the Brazilian Development Bank and Brazil’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (Fundo Soberano) each control 5%, bringing the State’s direct and indirect ownership to 64%.

The company’s website tells us that Petrobas operates in 6 business areas, listed in order of revenues:

  • Refining, Transportation & Marketing – refining, logistics, transportation, trading operations, oil products, crude oil exports and imports, and petrochemical investments in Brazil
  • Exploration and Production – crude oil, NGL and natural gas exploration, development, and production in Brazil
  • Distribution – distribution of oil products, ethanol, biodiesel, and natural gas to wholesalers and through the Petrobras Distribuidora S.A. retail network in Brazil
  • Gas & Power – transportation and trading of natural gas and LNG, the generation and trading of electric power, and the fertilizer business
  • International – exploration and production of oil and gas, refining, transportation, marketing, distribution, and gas and power operations outside of Brazil
  • Biofuels – production of biodiesel and its co-products and ethanol-related activities such as equity investments, production and trading of ethanol, sugar, and the excess electricity generated from sugarcane bagasse

Petrobras controls significant oil and energy assets in 16 countries in Africa, North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. However, Brazil represented 92% of Petrobras’ worldwide production in 2014 and accounted for 97% of Petrobras’ worldwide reserves on 31 December 2014.

As of 31 December 2014, the company had 8,112.8 million barrels of oil equivalent (4.9633×1010 GJ) of proved developed reserves and 4,599.7 million barrels of oil equivalent (2.8140×1010 GJ) of proved undeveloped reserves in Brazil. Of these reserves, 62.7% were located in the offshore Campos Basin. The largest growth prospect for the company is the Lula oil field in the Santos Basin.

In 2015, the company produced 2.284 million barrels of oil equivalent (13,970,000 GJ) per day, of which 89% was petroleum and 11% was natural gas.


Eletrobras is a major Brazilian electric utilities company and Latin America’s biggest power utility company, as well as the tenth largest in the world. It’s also the fourth largest clean energy company in the world. The company website tells us that Eletrobras holds stakes in a number of Brazilian electric companies, generating about 40% and transmitting 69% of Brazil’s electric supply. The company’s generating capacity is about 43,000 MW, mostly in hydroelectric plants. The Brazilian federal government owns 52% stake in Eletrobras; the rest of the shares are traded on BM&F Bovespa. The stock is part of the Ibovespa index. It is also traded on the New York Stock Exchange and on the Madrid Stock Exchange. The company’s headquarters are located in Brasília, but its main offices are located in Rio de Janeiro.

Eletrobras is an electric power holding company. It is the largest generation and transmission company in Brazil. Through its subsidiaries it owns about 40% of Brazil’s generation capacities and controls 69% of the National Interconnected System. Eletrobras also is the biggest company of the electric power sector in Latin America.


Submitted by Climate Scorecard Staff Member

Brazil Emission Reduction Challenges

Leading Emission Reduction Challenges: (a) Rising consumer and/or industrial demand for energy-intensive products and services; (b) Deforestation; (c) Changing peoples’ behavior; (d) Political and economic crises


Current Level of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

According to the analysis of Panorama Brazilian Emissions Current—Trends and Challenges of Climate Observatory, derived from the System Greenhouse Gas Emission estimate (SEEG), the period of drastic reduction in Brazil’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has passed. The fall of over 70% in deforestation rates in the Amazon, which helped Brazil lower its share in global emissions from 6.2% in 2004 to 2.9% in 2012, placed the country in a good position to initiate discussions regarding the new global climate agreement that will replace the Kyoto Protocol after 2020. But the new estimates generated by the Climate Observatory show a clear upward trend in GHG emissions from energy, transport, agriculture, industry and solid waste. It is noteworthy that the Climate Observatory estimates still do not capture the increase in deforestation in the Amazon last year. There is therefore a strong indication that Brazil can reach 2020 with emissions on the rise.


Emission Reduction Challenges

“Brazil must meet the voluntary target emission reduction set in 2010 to 2020. But following the current trend, it is likely that in the coming years further reductions of deforestation are lower than the increase in emissions in other sectors, leading to a new period of growth” says Tasso Azevedo, SEEG coordinator.

As a swimmer against the current, the nature of the problem is still in the people’s incapacity to perceive the real deal behind climate change. Nowadays, Brazil’s population is around 204 million (IBGE, 2015), and cattle population is 212 million (IBGE, 2015). These statistics are dramatic. The destruction of forests to make pastures or to grow crops to feed the livestock is a major source of GHG in Brazil. In addition, methane, a gas released from cows, has 20 times more impact on global warming than an equivalent amount of released carbon dioxide (CO2).

So there´s no agreed upon solution ahead. Brazil is fighting against deforestation, but while the current rate of deforestation is declining, it is still alarming. Meanwhile, local meat consumption is growing and remains outside of the emissions reduction agenda, and even outside the debate among ordinary citizens.

–Submitted by Climate Scorecard Country Manager Ciro Moura

Brazil Ratification Status

Possibility of Ratification by 2018: High

Like many other countries, Brazil has yet to ratify the Paris Agreement and submit its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) plan to Congress. Brazil currently is in the midst of its most serious and dramatic political and economic crisis, including the removal and proposed impeachment of the President-Dilma Rousseff.

The Brazilian constitution gives Congress the ability to approve treaties, which then go to the President for signature. The Brazilian Congress has a strong environmental block, which favors ratifying the Paris Agreement. However, the acting President Michel Temer has appointed a conservative cabinet, which may not be that enthusiastic about committing to ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction pledge that Brazil made to the new Paris Agreement.

However, on July 12 Brazil took a step forward in the ratification of the Paris Agreement the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies approved in plenary unanimously the legislative decree project by which Brazil adheres to the Paris climate agreement. The proposal now goes to the Senate.

“We consider that this agreement serves the national interest and vote for approval,” said the congressman Pedro Vilela, who reported the project on the Foreign Relations Committee, to open discussion of the text in an extraordinary Chamber session that It extended into the night. “There is scientific evidence increasing that recent changes are not natural variations, related to human activities,” said another congressman Luiz Freitas Filho, rapporteur in the Committee on the Environment.

The project was being processed on an emergency basis in the Congress. Now the decision goes to Senate and If approved, goes to presidential approval and may become domestic law in Brazil before COP22, the Marrakesh climate conference in November. Everything indicates that Brazilian senate will follow the recommendation of the deputies.

“Now it’s a matter of time until the final ratification by the Senate,” said Carlos Rittl, executive secretary of the Brazilian Climate Observatory ( “The big step that comes next will need to be given by the government – to transform our economy on the path of progressive elimination of greenhouse gases. And for that, Brazil has opportunities: Zero deforestation, restoring forests, make more efficient farming and use more sun, wind and biomass to generate energy.”

The movement of parliamentary puts Brazil closer to the group of countries that want to see the climate agreement in place as early as next year, three years ahead of schedule as you can read more on Climate Scorecard website.

Submitted by Climate Scorecard Country Manager Ciro Moura

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