Historical data until 2015 is based on the latest inventory data submitted to the UNFCCC in the third biennial report (Ministry of Science Technology and Innovations and Communications, 2019). For historical data between 2015 and 2018 we use the most recent estimates of emissions from Observatório do Clima (Observatório do Clima, 2019c) and harmonise to the emissions levels from the Third Biennial Report.
The only important difference between the two sources comes from the LULUCF sector, and is explained by the fact that Observatório do Clima is based on an old GHG inventory methodology that is not consistent with the one used for the third biennial report due to lack of public data: "The methodological basis of the estimates of SEEG is the Brazilian Inventory of Anthropogenic Emissions and Removals of Greenhouse Gases, published by Ministry of Science and Technology (MCTI). For the Agricultural, Energy, Industrial Processes and Waste sectors SEEG used 3rd Inventory methodology, which underwent public consultation in 2014/2015 and is awaiting publication. As for Land Use Change was followed by the second Inventory methodology since without the publication of land cover transition maps It’s not possible to migrate to the new methodology" (Idem).
NDC and other targets
In the absence of a clear split between LULUCF and non-LULUCF emissions, the CAT estimates the NDC for Brazil on emissions excl. LULUCF as follows: We calculate the 37% and 43% reduction below 2005 levels suggested in the NDC (including LULUCF) and subtract from these levels the most recently projected LULUCF values (Ministério da Ciência Tecnologia Inovações e Comunicações Brasil, 2017) from these levels, after a harmonisation with historical data, in order to estimate the emissions reduction target excluding LULUCF. Given that the target emissions levels provided in the NDC use Global Warming Potentials (GWP) consistent with the IPCC fifth assessment report (AR5) we convert those target levels to GWP AR4 by applying the reduction rates to historical 2005 emissions levels in GWP from AR4.
The national projection we use for LULUCF does not include the effects of recent increases in deforestation rates. Therefore, for comparison, we also show an independent projection of Brazil’s LULUCF emissions that considers how Brazil’s emissions could grow if weak environmental governance leads to increased deforestation (Rochedo et al., 2018). We harmonise this projection to historical emissions as the projection was developed using data from 2014.
BAU emissions were taken from the levels provided in the Decree No. 7390, of 2010 (Presidência da República, 2010), as basis for calculating the % reduction including LULUCF. The pledge excluding LULUCF was calculated by applying the target to total emissions and subtracting LULUCF levels in 2020 consistent with the achievement of the targets in the deforestation sector, which were calculated making use of the information provided in the Decree No. 7390 for the LULUCF sector.
Current policy projections
The current trend projections are based on the World Energy Outlook 2019 Current Policy scenario projections for CO2 only (IEA, 2019). In addition, we estimate the impact of the new annual national emissions intensity targets of the RenovaBio policy. For this we estimate the underlying emissions intensity in the WEO projections and apply the percentage reduction included in the Resolution Nr 5 of June 2018. Given that targets are only defined until 2028 and imply an increasing yearly reduction, we assume for 2029 and 2030 the same yearly improvement rate defined by the law between the 2019-2028. We then deduct the avoided emissions resulting from the improved emissions intensity from the WEO projections.
For other CO2 emissions, we assume the average growth rate of the last ten years will be maintained until 2030. For non-CO2 emissions we base our estimates on the US EPA projections until 2030 (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2019). To ensure consistency we harmonise the results of our current policy projection to the last available historical data point. For the LULUCF pathway the quantification is based on the latest national projections (Ministério da Ciência Tecnologia Inovações e Comunicações Brasil, 2017).
We applied a novel method to estimate the COVID-19 related dip in CO2 emissions in 2020 and the deployment through to 2030 (excluding LULUCF). The uncertainty surrounding the severity and length of the pandemic creates a new level of uncertainty for current and future greenhouse gas emissions. For Brazil we use a different approach for CO2 and non-CO2 gases, reflecting the difference responses of the sectors that drive these emissions. For CO2 gases (which are predominently from the energy sector) we use our most recent current policy projections, prepared before the pandemic, to calculate the emission intensity (GHG emissions/GDP) from the pre-pandemic scenario, which we then apply to GDP projections that take into account the effect of the pandemic. To capture a wide range of potential impacts, we use GDP projections from the IMF (IMF, 2020), OECD (OECD, 2020) and World Bank (World Bank, 2020b) . As these GDP projections only provide values for the next few years, we extend them to 2030 using the GDP growth rate that was used as a basis for the original pre-pandemic current policy scenario. From the resulting projections we take the maximum and minimum values in each year. For non-CO2 gases (of which over 80% come from agriculture) we used our pre-pandemic current policy projections for non-CO2 emissions, as emissions from the agriculture and waste sectors are not expected to decline as a result of the pandemic. We note that this may overestimate agricultural emissions, as a recent study by SEEG and the Observatorio do Clima expects agricultural emissions to increase in the near term as a result of the pandemic.
Global warming potentials
The CAT uses Global Warming Potential (GWP) values from the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) for all its figures and time series.