Key Actors in International Climate Cooperation
Edited by Guri Bang, Arild Underdal and Steinar Andresen
Chapter 2: To be – or not to be – a low-carbon economy: a decade of climate politics in Brazil
As one of the first countries in the world to do so, Brazil adopted a comprehensive climate law in 2009. With specific mitigation targets, the law followed up the successful implementation of policies to reduce deforestation. Emissions from deforestation decreased by 75 per cent between 2004 and 2012, reducing Brazil’s aggregate emissions significantly. However, while deforestation has declined, greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and energy have increased in the past decade and this growth is expected to increase at a faster rate after 2020, especially in the energy sector. This chapter analyses drivers and barriers to mitigation policy in different emission sectors in Brazil. Many low-carbon solutions are more profitable in Brazil than in many other countries, but concerns regarding energy security and food security constrain the prioritization of low-carbon solutions. Brazilian politicians feel little pressure to increase mitigation targets beyond what is achieved through reduced deforestation, and well-established interest groups in society prefer traditional solutions over low-carbon innovation. Current policy decisions have a large impact on Brazil’s post-2020 emission trajectories and this chapter assesses how the current political situation influences future mitigation possibilities.
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