NOTE: This assessment includes our policy analysis for Brazil from 22 September 2020 translated into our new rating methodology, with updates to the targets and governance sections.
The CAT rates Brazil’s climate targets and policies as “Highly insufficient” The “Highly insufficient” rating indicates that Brazil’s climate policies and commitments are not consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit. Brazil’s 2030 emissions reduction target is consistent with 4°C of warming when compared to modelled domestic emissions pathways. If fully implemented, Brazil’s current policies would result in emissions reductions beyond its targets, but still only in line with 3°C warming. Brazil is also not meeting its fair-share contribution to climate change. To improve its rating, Brazil could at the very least bring its 2030 targets in line with its current policies, and set a conditional target in line with a 1.5°C modelled domestic pathway.
Brazil’s policies and action are expected to lead to lower emissions by 2030 than Brazil’s targets, when the land sector is excluded. However, there are significant gaps in Brazilian policymaking for halting emissions growth, and Brazil’s deforestation remains a serious cause for concern.
The continued roll-back of forest protection policies is enabling ever higher deforestation rates, pushing emissions from Brazil’s largest source – deforestation – upwards after more than a decade of decline. Agriculture remains the second largest contributor to Brazil’s GHG emissions after deforestation, and itself is a key driver of deforestation. In the energy sector, a clear cause for concern is Brazil’s energy infrastructure planning, which unnecessarily continues to incorporate fossil fuels, including coal and gas. On a more positive note, market trends for renewable power generation are heading in the right direction, with a steady increase in wind and solar capacity.
Brazil is still under the throes of COVID-19; hence its economic recovery lies predominantly in the future. Evidence suggests that the Bolsonaro administration has rather sought to use the pandemic to accelerate - and distract attention from - the rollback of environmental regulations.
The CAT rates Brazil’s policies and action as “Insufficient”. Our full policies and action analysis is here.
Brazil has submitted an updated NDC that effectively weakens its already insufficient climate action targets for 2025 and 2030. Brazil’s targets to reduce emissions by 37% and 43% from 2005 levels by 2025 and 2030 respectively are unchanged on paper, but an increase in the base year emissions used as a reference means that Brazil can continue to increase its emissions and still meet its targets. We rate Brazil’s 2030 target as “Highly insufficient” when compared to global least-cost pathways. The “Highly insufficient” rating indicates that Brazil’s target in 2030 leads to rising, rather than falling, emissions and is not at all consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit. If all countries were to follow Brazil’s approach, warming could reach over 3°C and up to 4°C.
This rating takes into account that Brazil would need international support for a fraction of the actions required to be consistent with the Paris agreement 1.5 °C limit. As Brazil has not submitted a conditional target, we rate the unconditional target here.
We rate Brazil’s unconditional 2030 climate target from December 2020 as “Critically insufficient” when compared with its fair-share contribution to climate action. We refer to this as Brazil’s “fair share target”. The “Critically insufficient” rating indicates that Brazil’s fair share target in 2030 reflects minimal to no action and is not at all consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit. Brazil’s target is not in line with any interpretation of a fair approach to meeting the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit, and if all countries were to follow Brazil’s approach, warming would exceed 4°C.
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.
As part of their updated NDC submission in December 2020, Brazil set an indicative goal of reaching net zero by 2060, conditional on the receipt of financial transfers. In April 2021, President Bolsonaro announced Brazil’s aim to achieve net zero by 2050 as part of the 2021 Leaders' Climate Summit. Brazil neither provided specific information in its NDC nor after the announcement at the Summit. An assessment of the net zero target remains impossible given the preliminary status of net zero announcement, so the CAT evaluates Brail’s net zero target as “Target information incomplete”.