1.5°C compatible domestic emissions pathway requires Brazil’s emissions to reach around 594-814 MtCO₂e/year by 2030, excluding land-use.
Brazilʼs total GHG emissions
excl. LULUCF MtCO₂e/yr
- 1.5°C compatible pathways
- Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
- Current policy projections
- 1.5°C emissions range
- Historical emissions
The second update to Brazil’s Nationally Determined Contribution was submitted in April 2022 with 2005 emissions as its reference year. Its target of a 5% increase above 2005 levels excluding LULUCF (50% reduction including LULUCF), is equivalent to emissions of 962 MtCO₂e/yr. This is 73 MtCO₂e/yr above the original value reflected in Brazil’s first NDC submitted in 2015. This is a much weaker target than what would be required for a 1.5°C compatible domestic emissions pathway, corresponding to an 11-35% reduction below 2005 levels. Brazil’s newly elected government has indicated it will submit a new NDC in 2023.
1 Climate Transparency. Brazil: Climate Transparency Report. 2021.
2 Ministerio de Minas e Energia – MME. Plano Decenal de Expansão de Energia. 2021.
3 Empresa de Pesquisa Energetica EPE & Ministerio de Minas e Energia. Atlas of Energy Efficiency Brazil 2020..
4 Gütschow, J., Jeffery, L., Gieseke, R. & Günther, A. The PRIMAP-hist national historical emissions time series (1850-2017). V.2.1. GFZ Data Services (2019) doi:http://doi.org/10.5880/PIK.2019.018.
5 Silva Junior, C. H. L. et al. The Brazilian Amazon deforestation rate in 2020 is the greatest of the decade. Nat Ecol Evol 5, 144–145 (2021).
6 IPAM. Amazon records deforestation in the first half of 2022. IPAM Amazonia. 2022.
7 Goverment of Brazil. 4th Biennial update report (BUR) of Brazil. 2020.
8 Climate Analytics & NewClimate Institute. Climate Action Tracker Brazil 2022 update. 2022.
9 Ministry of Mines and Energy MME. Brazilian Energy Balance Summary report 2020. 2021.
10 Empresa de Pesquisa Energetica EPE & Ministerio de Minas e Energia. Plano Decenal de Expansäo de Energia 2031. EPE. 2022.
11 Goverment of Brazil. Brazil NDC update. 2022
12 Federative Republic of Brazil. Intended Nationally Determined Contribution INDC. Preprint at www4.unfccc.int/sites/submissions/INDC/Published%20Documents/Brazil/1/BRAZIL%20iNDC%20english%20FINAL.pdf (2016).
13 Searchinger, T., Waite, R., Hanson, C. & Ranganathan, J. Creating a sustainable food future: A menu of solutions to feed nearly 10 billion people by 2050. World Resources Report (2019).
14 Cruz, T., Imperio, M., Baptista, L. B., Angelkorte, G. & Arroyo, E. Plano de descarbonizacao para o Estado de Minas Gerais dentro de um Brazil clima neutro em 2050. Relatorio sintese da modelagem integrada para o Brasil. 2022.
15 Arias, M. E. et al. Impacts of climate change and deforestation on hydropower planning in the Brazilian Amazon. Nat Sustain 3, 430–436 (2020).
16 Climate Transparency. Climate Transparency Report. (2020).
17 Ministerio de minas e Energia. Programa Nacional de Hidrogênio – PNH2. 2022.
18 Henriques, M. & Esturba, T. The role of the industrial sector in Brazil’s energy emissions. WRI Brasil. 2018.
19 Agencia Nacional do Petroleo, G. N. e B. RenovaBio. Ministerio de Minas e Energia. 2022.
20 Carlier, M. Electric and hybrid motor vehicle registrations in Brazil from 2006 to 2021. Statista. 2022.
The implementation of Brazil’s domestic emissions pathway will need to be made possible with international support to close the gap between its “fair share” contribution to global emissions reductions and domestic emissions levels.
Net zero CO₂
Brazil´s updated NDC includes a long-term objective to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. To be 1.5°C aligned, Brazil’s CO₂ emissions (excluding LULUCF) would already need to be net negative by 2050.
To be 1.5°C compatible, Brazil should target GHGs emissions levels of 215-331 MtCO₂e/yr (excluding LULUCF), or a reduction of 64-77% below 2005 levels by 2050.
Phasing out CO₂ emissions from Brazil’s economy will require a fully renewable power system and policies for rapidly decarbonising transport (for example, through electrification and shifts in transport modes), as well as energy efficiency measures in buildings and industry. Reducing emissions from deforestation to zero and restoring forests, degraded pastureland and other ecosystems will also be critical.
- While Brazil’s power mix benefits from a high share of renewable energy – around 83% in 2019, this is mostly driven by a high share of large hydropower, which the country aims to balance by increasing the share of other renewables such as wind and solar.1
- 1.5°C compatible pathways show a fully decarbonised power sector by 2030, with coal being phased out by 2024. Gas, which currently makes up about 10% of electricity generation, needs to follow, being phased out between 2025-2030. Brazil’s current power sector targets are not 1.5°C aligned.
- The earlier gas is phased out, the lower the risk of lock-in to high carbon infrastructure and stranded assets will be. This stands in contrast with the country’s planned expansion of gas generation, which is not consistent with the 1.5°C limit and would create substantial stranded asset risks.2
- Electricity made up a 61% share of building sector final energy demand in 2019. The share of biomass and natural gas accounted for 18% each.
- To ensure Brazil’s building sector is aligned with 1.5°C pathway, direct CO₂ emissions would need to fall rapidly, reaching zero before 2040, from their 2019 level of 20 MtCO₂.
- The main national energy efficiency labelling policy and standards are covered by Law 10.295 in the framework of the Brazilian Labelling Plan (PBE), which includes: refrigerators, lighting, ovens, water heaters and others.3
- The industry sector is the largest source of energy demand in Brazil.
- Emissions from industrial processes come mainly from steel, cement, and lime production. The Brazilian government should therefore focus reduction measures in these industries.
- The sector has opportunities to reduce emissions through energy efficiency, increasing the share of electricity and biofuels in final energy demand, and incorporating new fuels such as hydrogen.
- In 1.5°C pathways, industry is shown to achieve decarbonisation by around 2040.
- Brazil’s biofuel use as a share of transport sector final energy demand was 25% in 2019; the centrepiece policy for the decarbonisation of transport, RenovaBio, aims to increase its share and reduce emissions.
- While the share of electricity in the transport energy mix was negligible in 2019, EV share of car sales has been increasing and is expected to continue to do so. Further investment in charging infrastructure is needed to reach a 1.5°C compatible level of electrification of 22-50% by 2040.
- Zero emissions in transport should be reached sometime in the 2040s for the sector to be 1.5°C aligned.
- The Brazilian government is promoting investment in hydrogen and plans to use it in the transport sector.