Brazil Subsidies

Brazil—$59.3 billion per annum from subsidies to private companies. Infrastructure incentive grants and state-owned energy company investments

Subsidies to fossil fuels continue to be a major part of the developmental strategy in Brazil. In a 2015 study for the ODI and the G20 by Canadian researcher Ravenna Nuaimy-Barker, the authors found that Brazil´s subsidies to fossil fuels cover mostly oil and gas production and supply, amounting to an estimate R$ 11.6 billion (equivalent to USD 4.9 billion at the time). These include R&D investments, drilling and fuel transport, as well as power generation by SUDENE, a development agency for the Northeast of the country, responsible for most subsidies to the energy sector in Brazil. Other national and state development banks and agencies also subsidize the oil industry, such as BNDES, SUDAM and BNB. Investments in refining, transport and marketing by Petrobras has reached USD 7.5 billion in 2014 alone. Investments by Petrobras in Brazil, during 2013-2014 added up to USD 41.6 billion.

Another key source of subsidies for oil and gas in Brazil is tax exemption. Along with incentive programs for the northern, northeastern and central-western regions of the country where areas isolated from the main grid use mostly diesel-powered generators, tax exemptions, suspensions and reductions are a key form of directly subsidizing fossil fuel industries. Although taxes are levied at all levels of government, most are collected through the federal government. Some of the fiscal benefits to the fossil fuel industry involve the suspension of one or more of the following taxes: PIS – Program of Social Integration (Programa de Integração Social); COFINS – Social Security Financing Contribution (Contribuição para o Financiamento da Seguridade Social); IPI – Excise Tax on Industrialised Products (Imposto sobre Produtos Industrializados); IPRJ – Corporate Income Tax (Imposto de Renda sobre Pessoa Jurídica), and the II – Import Duty (Imposto de Importação).

REPENEC, for instance, is a special regime of incentives for the development of infrastructure for the petroleum industry in the northern, north-eastern and central-west regions that exempts companies from a range of taxes in these specific regions. They do not have to pay the PIS and COFINS social contributions, or the IPI excise taxation for domestic sales and imported machinery and materials for infrastructure projects, such as drilling rigs, pipelines and access routes. The reported value of the REPENEC tax breaks for companies averaged $299 million annually in 2013 and 2014.

The second largest source of funding for the power sector, and largest budgetary transfer supporting fossil fuel production in Brazil is the Fuel Consumption Fund (Conta de Consumo de Combustíveis – CCC), a mechanism established in 1973 to secure power supply in the most isolated areas of the North and Northeast regions. It was estimated at an annual average of USD 1.7 billion in 2013 and 2014. However, as of 2015, a tax reform phased out subsidies that are now covered by consumers. Along with the Energy Development Fund (CDE) and the Global Reversal Reverse (RGR), the CCC also provides funding for other energy sources, therefore making it impossible to single out fossil fuel subsidies.
Eletrobras is the state owned (55%) energy company responsible for electricity generation in Brazil. Along with Petrobras, it is the most important player in the energy sector. In 2013, the company invested $5 billion in generation, distribution and R&D. In 2014 the company invested $4.6 billion, shared between generation ($2.6 billion), transmission ($1.6 billion), distribution ($297 million), and other areas ($150 million). However, only 6.5% of the energy came from fossil fuels. According to the assessment by Nuaimy-Barker, given the relatively small portion of electricity generated from fossil fuels and the lack of fully disaggregated data, it was not possible to estimate the size of the company’s investment in fossil fuel production specifically.

Additional direct subsidies include federal programs addressing infrastructure, capacity building for the sector, and carbon capture and storage projects. According to the ODI study, domestic financing for fossil fuels (from state owned banks such as BNDES and Banco do Brasil) amounted to USD$ 6.3 billion over 2013 and 2014. Furthermore, an important source of indirect subsidies benefits the auto industry. Tax exemptions made available directly to consumers purchasing cars during that period had a significant impact on the economy and on carbon emissions as from 2008. Finally, Brazil contributes to international funds and projects that benefit the oil sector, through its shares in the World Bank Group, the Inter-American Development Bank and the African Development Bank, ranging between 0.4% and 11% in the same period.

Learn More

In Portuguese

Independent news website Agencia Social de Notícias (ASN). Story on the ODI report for Brazil.

Story by news website Carta Capital on the increase of investments in solar and wind energy in the North and Northeast regions of Brazil available at

Story on use of ethanol to reduce CO2 emissions from transport sector in Brazil

Article by Climate Observatory´s Executive Secretary Carlos Rittl on Brazil´s trajectory of fossil fuel investments, available at

In Spanish: Article by Manuel Planelles of the newspaper El País, available at

In English

Report by the Oil Change International (OCI) and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), published in November 2015, “Empty promises: G20 subsidies to oil, gas and coal production”, is available at

For a detailed account on fossil fuel subsidies in Brazil during 2013-2014, see the ODI report Brazil study available at

Study by IISD by Tara Laan and Adilson Oliveira, for IISD, “Lessons Learned from Brazil’s Experience with Fossil-Fuel Subsidies and their Reform”, available at

International Energy Agency (IEA) statistics, news on Brazil and energy subsidies available at and report on Brazil at

Article on Brazil´s association status at IEA as from 31 October 2017.

New York Times story on the first round of the auction for deep-sea oil drilling rights in Brazil, in 27 September 2017.

Brazil Strategies

Brazil: (1) Strengthen the governance of land use and forestry to meet its existing pledge; (2) Strengthen the promotion of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power; (3) Reduce fossil fuel subsidies

In its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement, Brazil has pledged to restore 12 million hectares of forest and eliminate illegal deforestation. Until 2015, Brazil delivered some impressive results, fulfilling its commitments laid out in the National Climate Law, passed in 2009. Emission reductions from gross deforestation in the Amazon biome, from 2011 to 2015, totaled 3,154.5 MtCO2. Having shown its capacity to address the issue adequately, the government could aim for more ambitious progressive targets in Paris. However, since mid-2015, deforestation in the Amazon region has increased, according to data from the Brazilian government and the Climate Observatory (OC), reaching almost 30% between 2015 and 2016.

Poor management of funds, politicians with vested interests, and political and economic crises are the main barriers to the implementation of Brazil´s emissions reduction commitments. Compliance with the Paris Agreement is at risk should the Brazilian Congress continue to yield to pressure from the lobbies of the meat, soybean, mining and timber industries. Thus, rather than setting more ambitious targets at this stage, strengthening governance of land use and forestry to meet their original pledge should be the priority.

There are many legal instruments to address land degradation, deforestation and emissions reductions. However, Brazil´s capacity to enforce the law on the ground faces severe limitations such as the lack of human resources, violent conflicts over land tenure, and difficult access to areas at risk. Furthermore, present policies are being weakened to favor farmers that own vast properties in the Amazon and the Cerrado regions where cattle ranching and logging are the main activities. These are also the main drivers of land degradation and deforestation. The rural sector has a strong group in parliament lobbying for less stringent regulation.

Emissions from other sources have also grown, most notably from the energy sector, having reached a 45% increase between 2005 and 2015 due to fossil fuel use for transport and thermal plants. Further promoting renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power would set the pathway for more GHG emissions reductions. This strategy would involve engaging with business sector, resulting in much needed economic growth, jobs and income.

Another effective measure to reduce Brazil´s carbon footprint would be to reduce fossil fuel subsidies. This is a subject that is avoided by both the government and the private sector due to perceived implications to economic development, particularly considering the pre-salt production potential. Then again, it is a controversial issue worldwide.

Learn More

Sources in English

Brazil´s Second Biennial Update Report to the UNFCCC. Available at

The System Study Greenhouse Gas Emissions Estimates (SEEG) is a Climate Observatory (OC) initiative comprising annual estimates of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions in Brazil, analytical documents and data in a Web portal. Available at

Article on the government´s attempt to reduce protected forests in the Amazon. Available at

Sources in Portuguese

Article by Página 22 magazine on weakening of environmental policies in 2017. Available at

Article at Terra website on the opening to mining of protected area in the Amazon. Available at,ea47fc54d2278ec2e0a5bf3deedd8b7

Greenpeace Brasil – Webpage on the Amazonia forest. Available at

Brazil Renewable Energy

Brazil—No 100% 2050 Commitment
Benchmark: 48% of renewables by 2026

Brazil’s Paris Agreement commitment aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 37% below 2005 levels by 2025, and 43% by 2030. It was the first developing country to commit to an absolute reduction of emissions from a base year, as opposed to reductions based on projected emissions or per unit of GDP. This goal will be implemented within the framework of the National Policy on Climate Change (Política National de Mudança do Clima—PNMC, Law No. 12,187/2009), the Forest Code (Código Florestal, Law No. 12,651/2012), the National System of Conservation Units Law (Sistema Nacional de Unidades de Conservação, Law No. 9,985/2000), the Ten-Year Energy Expansion Plan (Plano Decenal de Expansão de Energia-PDE), and relevant regulation, programs and planning instruments, in place or to be developed.

Brazil focuses on reducing emissions mostly from decreasing deforestation, but their commitment also proposes achieving a 45% share of renewables in the energy mix by 2030. According to the environmental NGO community, however, this goal does not represent actual progress considering that renewables made up 44% of primary energy production in 2015, and, in 2016, increased by 2.2%.

To date, official results from deforestation control and prevention policies have kept Brazil on track to meet its commitments as established by the PNMC. Brazil has also set targets to increase the share of renewables to generate electricity, beyond hydropower, by 23% by 2030. Currently, hydropower generates about 66% of Brazil’s electricity; while other renewable energy sources, such as biomass, solar and wind together account for less than 10%. Nonetheless, on the positive side, the trend to increase the use of solar and wind power has been steady in the past 4 years.

The Ministry of Energy and Mines in Brazil (MME) publishes the outlook and guidelines for energy demand and production in its Ten-Year Energy Expansion Plan (Plano Decenal de Expansão de Energia-(PDE), which is revised every year, and is submitted to public discussion online to receive contributions.

The PDE 2026 establishes the growth of both production and consumption of energy, in line with the PNMC and its climate commitments. It indicates that energy needed to boost the economy will reach 351 million tonnes equivalent of oil (toneladas equivalentes de petróleo-tep) by 2026, growing at a rate of 2 percent a year. Renewables should reach 48% of the total by 2026. Wind power has increased by 77 % and ethanol by 18% in 2016 relative to 2015.

Through investments in infrastructure, power demand is expected to reach 64.1GW by 2026, of which 50% will be provided by new renewable sources, such as biomass, wind and solar. On the other hand, oil production is expected to double by the end of the period.

A partnership between IDEAAAS institute, Instituto Peabiru, Mott Foundation and the Federal University of Pará developed a pilot project in North state Pará to provide low-cost clean energy to isolated communities in the Amazon region. In the first phase, 22 households are participating. The program Light for a Better Life (Luz para uma Vida Melhor) offers a photovoltaic system, the “Bakana Solar” that will allow for basic energy needs such as lighting and cellular recharge points.

Learn More

Sources in Portuguese

Online news and specialized electronic magazine
Website of the Federal Agency for Energy Research (Empresa de Pesquisa Energética – EPE)
Webpage of the Light for a Better Life Project in the Peabiru Institute´s site
Facebook page of the NGO Institute for the Development of Alternative Energies and Self-Sustainability.


Sources in English

Brazil Success Project

Brazil—IMAZON (Instituto do Homem e Meio Ambiente da Amazônia)

In 2004, deforestation in the Amazon region reached record levels. In 2009, Pará state accounted for the highest deforestation rate in the country, corresponding to 20% of its territory. It is also a highly conflicted area, where violence and corruption are widespread, and environmentalists have been murdered in recent years. Land tenure and illegal harvesting of timber remain key problems faced by authorities at all levels. Lack of ability to address land use change and forestry is a threat to Brazil´s capacity in meeting its commitments within the global climate regime.

In 2008, the Ministry of Environment (MMA) issued a list of the critical areas and cities responsible for deforestation in the Amazon region. Those with the highest rates were included in a “black list” and suffered severe sanctions, such as restricted access to rural credit and embargoes on products from illegally deforested areas. Paragominas was top of the list, and faced action by the federal Public Attorney´s office. The municipality decided to act: together with institute IMAZON, the city implemented an initiative to register property owners, legalize and control timber harvesting and cattle ranching in its territory. In 2010, Paragominas was the first municipality to be removed from the deforestation list. With IMAZON´s technical support, the coordination of stakeholders such as the mayor, council members, farmers unions, the public attorney´s office at state and federal levels, the state environment secretariat, the MMA and others were key to the initiative´s success. Together they inspired the Pará government to develop the Green Municipality program. Cities wishing to be removed from the black list or to avoid entering it adhere to a pact to reduce deforestation by 80%. In 2013, Paragominas reported zero deforestation.

Between 2009 and 2013, IMAZON implemented a project called Building Blocks for the Socioenvironmental Management of Pará Municipalities Critical to Deforestation, in partnership with the state government of Pará´s program Green Municipalities, and funded by the Amazon Fund (managed by Brazil´s national development bank BNDES). The project was built on the Paragominas experience, and encompasses 25,482 sq. miles, including eleven key municipalities in Pará state. The initiative involves stakeholders such as state and federal government officials, the Public Attorney´s office, union representatives, the Vale Foundation, and the municipalities. It aims to reduce deforestation and land degradation in the Southeast region of Pará and to increase the number of properties registered in the Environmental Rural Registry (Cadastro Ambiental Rural – CAR in Portuguese). The project also evaluates the potential for implementation of financial mechanisms to promote forest conservation such as REDD+. The project demonstrates its potential for scaling up and replication, through actions focused on stakeholder participation, community empowerment and capacity building, as well as monitoring and control using GIS.

IMAZON´s technical support includes digital mapping in 1:50,000 scale using satellite images from RapidEye, as well as building the capacity of municipal staff to use equipment for monitoring and avoiding deforestation, such as geoprocessing and remote sensing. The institute also issues monthly newsletters and provides information online about the project. The project engages the public via high profile events and provides up to date information.

The work of IMAZON should help Brazil implement its Paris Agreement pledge. Brazil officially ratified the Paris Agreement on September 21, 2016, committing to reduce emissions to 1.3 GtCO2e by 2025 and 1.2 GtCO2e by 2030 (Government of Brazil, 2015), as stated originally in its INDC (Intended Nationally Determined Contribution). This is equivalent to 37% and 43% below 2005 emissions levels including LULUCF (GWP-100; IPCC AR5).

However, recently IMAZON´s monitoring system has detected frequent signs of forest degradation due basically to selective extraction of timber and damage caused by fires, which have intensified in the region. In addition, as of 2016, the federal government has yielded to pressure from rural property owners and revoked protection of important forest areas in the region. Consequences are yet to be determined.

Learn More

Sources in Portuguese

Sources in English

DIEDERICHSEN, Anita; GATTI, Gustavo; NUNES, Sâmia; PINTO, Andréia (2017). Diagnostic of Key Success Factors for Forest Landscape Restoration. Municipality of Paragominas and the State of Pará – A component of the Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM) Belém, PA: Conserve Brasil e IMAZON. 84 pgs. Available at

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: