Brazil: Curbing forests emissions and anticipating energy issues

Brazil: Curbing forests emissions and anticipating energy issues / Emilio La Rovere & Marcelo Poppe. IDDRI, Idées pour le débat, 2012, 20 p. (Working Papers N°07/2012. Challenges for climate policy and governance in key emerging countries Series)

Points clés (source et copyright © IDDRI) :

A strong implication in the fight against climate change
Brazil has traditionally been playing an active role in the international climate change arena. It was the first country to sign the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in 1992. And during Copenhagen’s COP15 run-up, it announced its voluntary pledge of a -36 to -39% reduction in GHG emissions by 2020 compared to a business as usual scenario. This ambitious mitigation scenario found its political form in the National Plan on Climate Change (NPCC) adopted in late 2008, which aims to promote actions on both mitigation and adaptation measures to face climate change, involving federal, regional and local governments, and all segments of the national society.

Brazil’s climate policy priority : land use and forests
The National Climate Change Policy Law adopted in December 2009 includes the national pledge as well as the voluntary goals related to the first national appropriated mitigation actions (NAMAs) for the country. As deforestation, particularly in the Amazon and Cerrado (savannahs) regions, is the most important source of GHG emissions in Brazil, mitigation actions concentrate on reducing deforestation rates in the Amazon and other biomes, as well as increasing reforestation activities and recovery of degraded pasture land. The sectoral approach to mitigation actions related to Brazil’s inventory of GHG emissions also include plans for the industry, agriculture and transport sectors.

Challenges ahead : from land use and forests to energy-related emissions
But as fossil energy use –driven by economic growth, rising urbanization and dominance of road transportation– is the fastest growing source of GHG emissions in the country (68% increase in the 1990-2005 period, to 2005, and an expected rise of 140% by 2020 compared to 2005), the focus of future climate policies will necessarily shift from land use change to the energy system. The perspective of a huge intensification of oil & gas production from the pre-salt offshore fields is also a major issue that should be taken in a mid to long-term perspective. Those challenges will be increasingly important after 2020.

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