Note: We have updated our assessment to reflect the latest NDC submission made by Brazil on 3 November 2023, including our data download. The remainder of this assessment is from our 2022 evaluation and will be updated soon.
Brazil is laser-focused on boosting the use of fossil gas in the power supply to combat hydropower shortages caused by droughts in 2021, despite the far more promising performance of other renewable energy technologies in the country, such as wind and solar.
Brazil’s long-term energy plans see an expanded role for fossil gas and oil, with the production of both types of fossil fuel set to increase in the coming decade. Investment in the exploration and production of fossil fuels could reach over USD 500bn over the same period. Unless additional policies are put in place, emissions in the energy sector will resume a rising trend as Brazil’s economy recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, locking Brazil into a more carbon intensive energy system and leaving much of its considerable potential for renewable power generation untapped.
Deforestation in Brazil has increased and is expected to continue to rise in the coming years. Deforestation in Brazil increased in 2020 and 2021, largely due to illegal mining activity and cattle ranching. In addition, weak law enforcement and illegal activities facilitated access to protected lands. Without any change to current policies, emissions are expected to continue increasing, again leaving Brazil far from achieving its climate targets. Preliminary reports indicate that by mid-2022 deforestation has hit records in the Amazon area.
There was a significant step forward in July 2022 when the Supreme Court declared the climate fund must be reactivated, and recognised the Paris Agreement as a human rights treaty - making Brazil the first country to do so.
Brazil’s presidential election will take place in October 2022, and among the candidates there is a different degree of commitment in terms of climate mitigation action. There is strong support among most candidates and voters to reduce deforestation - in contrast to President Jair Bolsonaro's current policies. In debates, climate change has not yet been discussed in much detail. No candidate has presented a concrete proposal to substantially change current efforts to reduce emissions in Brazil’s energy and industry sectors. As a first step, the president-elect should review the commitments made in Brazil’s latest NDC, and increase climate ambition and action to align with 1.5˚C compatible pathways, and ensure a governance structure with the necessary resources to implement the required policies and actions in all sectors.
The CAT rates Brazil’s climate targets and policies as “Insufficient”, indicating that Brazil’s climate policies and commitments need substantial improvements to be consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit.
Under Brazil’s current policies, emissions will remain at roughly today’s levels. The country will not meet its 2030 NDC target. Brazil is also not meeting its fair share contribution and needs to set a more ambitious target for emission reductions and implement more stringent policies.
The CAT rates Brazil’s policies and action as “Highly insufficient”. We have updated our modelled domestic pathways to the IPCC AR6 data set, which resulted in a more stringent threshold for Brazil for the 3°C warming level. As a result, Brazil’s policies and action rating has fallen compared to our last update.
Brazil’s emissions (excl. its land sector) have essentially plateaued under current policies, growing only slightly over the rest of the decade. Yet, Brazil needs to cut its emissions this decade to meet its 2030 target and for 1.5°C compatibility.
The “Highly insufficient” rating indicates that Brazil’s current policy emissions trajectory is not at all consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C. If all countries were to follow Brazil’s approach, warming could reach over 3°C and up to 4°C.
The full policies and action analysis can be found here.
We rate Brazil’s 2030 NDC target as “Almost sufficient” when compared to modelled domestic emissions pathways.
The “Almost sufficient” rating indicates that Brazil’s NDC target in 2030 is not yet consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C but could be, with moderate improvements. If all countries were to follow Brazil’s approach, warming could be held below—but not well below—2°C.
Lula’s administration has reverted to the original NDC absolute emission targets submitted in 2016, doing away with the many NDC updates and creative accounting of the previous administration. While the original NDC is stronger than the 2022 NDC, it is not enough to improve its rating against our modelled domestic pathways.
To be 1.5°C compatible, Brazil would need to reduce emissions by 14% below 2005 levels (excluding the land sector), compared to the approximate 7% reduction below 2005 we calculate the original NDC will achieve (see target section for further details).
Brazil is one of the few countries to also adopt a 2025 target.
It is not on track to achieve either its 2025 or 2030 targets and will need to adopt additional policies to cut its emissions.
We rate Brazil’s 2030 NDC target as “Almost sufficient” when compared with its fair share contribution to climate action.
Lula’s administration has reverted to the original NDC absolute emission targets submitted in 2016. The target still falls short of being a fair contribution by Brazil to global climate action but has improved one category over the NDC submitted in 2022.
The “Almost sufficient” rating indicates that Brazil’s 2030 target is not yet consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C but could be, with moderate improvements. If all countries were to follow Brazil’s approach, warming could be held below—but not well below—2°C.
Last updated: September 2022
Deforestation rates have increased rapidly in Brazil in recent years. The rise in illegal deforestation is linked with a systematic dismantling of Brazil’s institutional and legal frameworks for forest protection and takes Brazil in the opposite direction of its deforestation commitments.
Given the key role of the Land Use and Forestry sector in Brazil’s NDC and the huge global importance of its forests for environmental services, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration, the Brazilian government urgently needs to strengthen mitigation action in this sector, instead of weakening it.
Brazil’s aims to achieve “climate neutrality” by 2050, a target reiterated in its 2023 NDC submission . Brazil has not submitted a long-term strategy to the UNFCCC.