Geopolitical Informations

209.6 million (2016)
Total area
8,515,767 km2

Main legislative bodies

  • National Congress (bicameral)

Latest News

Brazil becomes the third major emitter ratifying the Paris Agreement

On Monday (Sept. 12), Brazil has fully joined the Paris Agreement, according to Reuters. After the ratification of China and the United States earlier this month, this is seen as a further important step for the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement. Brazil’s president Michel Temer emphasised in his speech at the ratification read more…

Brazil releases national pledge while the list of INDC submissions grows

With COP-21 fast approaching, UNFCCC members have been accelerating the submission of their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. On September 28th Brazil issued its INDC, committing to decrease its GHG emissions by 37% below 2005 levels in 2025. The country also declared an indicative target of 43% reduction by 2030. Among Latin American countries, also Chile read more…

Obama and Rousseff to discuss climate ahead of COP 21

US President Barack Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will meet in Washington on Tuesday (June 30) to discuss climate change, amongst other issues. Rousseff is expected to reveal some elements of Brazil’s climate action plan, yet the content of any US-Brazil statement on climate change is still unknown. Brazilian Foreign Ministry official Carlos Paranhos read more…

Climate Policy Facts


Year Total GHG Emissions Excluding LUCF ( MtCO2e) Total GHG Emissions Excluding LUCF Per Capita ( tCO2e Per Capita) Total GHG Emissions Excluding LUCF Per GDP ( tCO2e / Million $ GDP)
1990 717.13 4.79 479.36
1991 727.05 4.78 478.75
1992 732.92 4.74 484.88
1993 742.72 4.73 469.46
1994 754.1 4.73 452.52
1995 775.21 4.79 445.51
1996 795.74 4.84 447.68
1997 813.99 4.88 443
1998 821.71 4.85 447.04
1999 830.78 4.83 450.83
2000 841.21 4.82 437.64
2001 887.49 5.01 455.73
2002 926.18 5.16 463.2
2003 957.6 5.27 473.57
2004 1015.6 5.52 475.11
2005 1061.76 5.7 481.5
2006 1060.82 5.64 462.78
2007 1071.39 5.64 440.53
2008 1087.33 5.67 425.11
2009 1059.21 5.47 415.48
2010 1104.64 5.66 402.95
2011 1131.1 5.74 401.62

The line chart shows the country’s carbon emissions by year, expressed in million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (MtCO2e) for emission totals, and in tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) for per capita and per dollar of GDP values. It is based on data from CAIT platform provided by the World Resource Insititute, and updated regularly with the most recent data available.

By selecting or deselecting each item, you can compare or give prominence to particular emission trends.



Energy Source Production (ktoe) TPES (ktoe)
Coal 2479,213 15247,097
Oil 112659,702 116829,176
Natural gas 16248,374 27228,109
Nuclear 4179,6 4179,6
Hydro 35719,412 35719,412
Geothermal 0 0
Solar thermal 497,349 497,349
Solar photovoltaics 0 0
Tide, wave, ocean 0 0
Wind 434,3 434,3
Biomass 65900,633 65900,633
Biofuels 13728,18 12167,888
Waste 0 0

The double-doughnut chart shows the country’s energy production and TPES (Total Primary Energy Supply), expressed in thousand tonnes of oil equivalent (ktoe). It is built on data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development/International Energy Agency libraries, and updated regularly with the most recent data available.

The INNER RING represents the country’s energy production from each energy source, corresponding to the quantities of fuels extracted or produced.

The OUTER RING shows the country’s total primary energy supply of each fuel. It represents the net quantities of fuels made available on the domestic market, after foreign transfers and trading. According to IEA’s definition, TPES equals production plus imports minus exports minus international bunkers plus or minus stock changes.

Differences between production and TPES are significant as they highlight the actual country’s behaviour in the matter of a given energy source. Production values and TPES values of the same energy source may vary widely, especially in case of the much-traded fossil fuels.

Energy data refers to year 2013.

National Policy


In 2015 Brazil did submit its INDCs to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in advance to the COP21 in Paris (see section on ‘International Policy’)

National Plan on Climate Change (last amendment in 2010)
In 2007 the Brazilian government began to reformulate its response to climate change. The National Plan on Climate Change (PNMC), finalised in December 2008, became national policy through Lula’s signing of the Brazilian law 12.187, which also establishes a national reduction target and discusses the process to move the PNMC towards implementation. Most notably, law 12.187 officially adopts Brazil’s voluntary national greenhouse gas reduction target of between 36.1 percent and 38.9 percent of projected emissions by 2020. The National Plan on Climate Change document is available in pdf.

Its overall goal is to achieve sustainable economic and social development. Its main points include:

  • Increasing energy efficiency leading to a decrease in electricity consumption by 10 percent in 2030, compared to current levels
  • Maintaining a high proportion of Brazil’s electricity supply from renewable sources (Brazil sourced about 77 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, mainly hydropower, in 2007). Overall, about 45 percent of its energy comes from renewable sources
  • Encouraging the increased use of biofuels in the transport sector (the proportion of biofuel use is already high) and working towards a sustainable international market for such fuels
  • Sustained reduction in deforestation rates, particularly in the Amazon region. The aim is to reduce the rate of deforestation by 70 percent by 2017 in gradual stages which would avoid 4.8 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions
  • Increasing research and development to precisely identify environmental impacts and minimise the costs of adaptation
  • Eliminating net loss of forest coverage by 2015 through re-forestation and establishment of forest plantations

President Lula signed the law with an important veto. Lula rejected language calling for a “gradual abandonment” of the use of fossil fuels after pressure from the Ministry of Mines and Energy. The original text would have made it difficult for Brazil’s future economic growth to depend on energy that, while predominantly hydroelectric today, is increasingly generated from fossil fuels. With this veto, Lula avoided, at least for the time being, contradictory issues playing out between Brazil’s climate concerns and the planned extraction of its recently discovered offshore deep water oil reserves.

Brazil Greenhouse Gas Protocol Program (2009)
16 major Brazilian corporations decided to implement voluntary national program to measure and report emissions. The partnership is formally called the Brazil Greenhouse Gas Protocol Program, and its charter members include, among the others, Ford, Alcoa, Banco do Brasil. More information is available about this program at this link. From 2005-2009, Brazil reduced its carbon emissions by around 25 percent while keeping a stable economic growth rate of 3.5 percent. For more information, see the CEPS’s article “Brazilian Climate Policy Since 2005: Continuity, Change and Prospective“.


National Energy Plan 2030
According to the National Energy Plan 2030, adopted in 2007, energy consumption shall be reduced by 10 percent by 2030. Renewable energies shall be expanded to 191 GW in 2030 (based on 92 GW in 2010), conventional energies shall contribute 21.5 GW (16 GW in 2010) and nuclear power is supposed to account for 8 GW by then (2 GW in 2010). A National Energy Plan 2050 is currently under consideration.

National Energy Efficiency Plan (2011) and Electricity Conservation Programme (1985)
The National Energy Efficiency Plan of 2011 aims mainly to reduce grid losses and to improve energy efficiency criteria. So far, energy efficiency programmes have not been very successful in Brazil. For instance, the Electricity Conservation Programme, which dates back to 1985, had only a minor impact on energy efficiency. It focused on the labelling of energy efficient equipment, energy savings in the housing sector and awareness raising.

Programme of Incentives for Alternative Electricity Sources – PROINFA (2002)
PROINFA, Law 104.38, will introduce 3,300MW of renewable energy (wind, biomass cogeneration and micro-hydropower ) by 2007. Once this target has been met, stage II will aim to increase the share of energy produced by renewable sources to 10 percent of total annual energy consumption within 20 years. By early 2005 the first phase was finished and 3,300 MW were completed (1,266 MW Solar, 655 MW Biomass, 1,379 MW Wind).

National Program for the Rational Use of Natural Gas and Oil Products – CONPET (1991)
Umbrella legislation for a variety of projects aimed at reducing losses and eliminating waste in energy production and use, encouraging the adoption of more energy efficient technologies and delay the need for new investment in electrical stations and oil refineries. The Program targets the transport, industrial and commercial/residential sectors, setting energy efficiency indexes, reviewing technical standards, demonstrating incentives to reduce fuel consumption, and increasing public awareness about energy efficiency. The target is to obtain a 25 percent increase in energy efficiency in the use of oil products and natural gas in the next 20 years without affecting the level or diversity of economic activity.


Brazil’s motorization rate keeps growing – cars take up 82 percent of urban road space, leaving only 18 percent for buses. Considering vehicle occupation rates, cars take up 15 times more space than public transit vehicles to transport the same number of people. The Brazilian legislative framework on transport sector refers to the National Plan on Climate Change, which contains provisions on how to reduce pollution from vehicles. In addition, there is a Plan on Transportation and Urban Mobility for Climate Change Mitigation which aims to shift the especially the transport of goods from road to rail and waterway. Moreover, the increased use of energy-efficient modes of transportation shall provide a remedy.
Beyond that, some municipalities adopted specific plans. Sao Paulo recently became one of the first cities in the developing world to implement a citywide plan to fight climate change. The city council unanimously approved law 14.933, which ambitiously aims to reduce Sao Paulo’s citywide greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent of 2005 levels by 2012 through several measures comprehensively focused on transportation, renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste management, construction and land use.
The main targets of the law on transport are:

  • Reduce fossil fuel used in public transit by 10 percent per year, with all city fleets running on renewable fuels by 2017
  • Improve traffic management and decrease car demand by increasing public transportation access and use
  • Create carpool lanes and bus corridors, start a ride sharing program, and improve infrastructure for urban bicycle use
  • Develop GHG emissions standards for all vehicles registered in the municipality

Brazil has also developed one of the largest renewable energy programs in the world (PROALCOOL). The use of ethanol as fuel powering automobiles, introduced in the 1970s, has evolved incredibly in the last decade with the new flex-fuel light vehicle technology. In addition, the Brazilian government has adopted the Brazilian National Program of Production and Use of Biodiesel that establishes a mandatory addition of 5 percent of biodiesel into petroleum diesel by 2013. This decision provides a strategic mechanism to stimulate employment and income, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to decrease dependence on fossil fuels.

National Ethanol Programme National Alcohol Program – PROALCOOL (1975)
Established on November 14, 1975 by presidential decree 76.593, the Proalcool mandate was simple enough to implement as alcohol plants already in operation required only simple modifications to produce ethanol. Proalcool’s specific mandate was to produce 3.5 billion litres of ethanol from sugar cane by 1980.

National Programme of Biodiesel Production and Use
The PNPB program has been focusing on organizing the biodiesel productive chain by defining financial aids, structuring the technological basis, and establishing specific regulations on the new fuel. The operation of this chain has been performed by sectoral policies that have determined the development of this productive chain. The most important action taken by the PNPB program was approving the law 11.097/2005, which established an addition of 2% in the diesel oil produced in Brazil since 2008. Since then, the production of biodiesel has met such demand and the sector has been developing rapidly. Nowadays, the mandatory addition content of biodiesel into diesel oil in Brazil is 4 percent. The program is an initiative of former President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva’s government (2003-2010) to integrate a drive for energy security in the electricity generation and transportation fuel sectors with sustainable rural development. It incorporates both large-scale agribusiness and family farms across the entire span of this continent-sized nation.


There are policies relating to the industry sector such as the Plan for Climate Change Mitigation for the Consolidation of a Low-Carbon Economy in the Manufacturing Industry or the Low-Carbon Mining Plan.


The Brazilian National Policy on Waste Management – PNRS (2010)
Brazil’s 2010 National Waste Law sets the general framework for the definition and management of hazardous waste. The Brazilian National Policy on Waste Management (PNRS) came into force on 3rd August 2010. Established by Federal Law 12,305/2010, the PNRS provides for guidelines on joint and environmentally appropriate management of solid waste, and regulates issues such as joint management, proper allocation and disposal, and shared responsibilities. According to the PNRS, waste management plans must be developed, implemented and operated by generators of waste resulting from industrial, health care, mining and public sanitation activities, as well as commercial establishments that generate hazardous waste. Construction companies, transport terminals and agricultural enterprises are also required to develop, implement and operate such plans. In addition to establishing that such plans should be part of environmental permitting proceedings, the PNRS also provides for their minimum content. Regarding responsibilities in connection with waste, the PNRS establishes that government, business and the public are responsible for the effectiveness of actions aimed at ensuring compliance with its provisions. Therefore, the PNRS provides for shared responsibilities for the life cycle of products, which must be individualized and interlinked, encompassing manufacturers, importers, distributors, traders, consumers and providers of urban sanitation and waste management public services.


Law on the Protection of Native Vegetation (2012)
The Law on the Protection of Native Vegetation from 2012, Law 12.651, replaced the Forest Code from 1965 but it is still undergoing continuous reworks and changes. Compared to the Forest Code, new provisions for the comprehensive and integrated management of forests stand out. These provisions also contribute to establish a control system that goes beyond simple monitoring. For this purpose, incentives are set for the compliance with the law through different innovative programmes. However, the Law has been blamed for major setbacks that have resulted in increased deforestation rates in recent years. For example, the provisions have drastically reduced the obligation to protect areas with high environmental significance that have been under protection under the 1965 Forest Code. In addition, the Law softened requirements for restoring vegetation in case of violations, which has been conceived as inappropriate amnesty. Moreover, the new Law legalised existing farming and infrastructure projects that were set up or built in previously protected areas without any obligations for the recovery of vegetation or for respective compensations.
For more information see here.

Environmental Crimes Act (1998)
The Environmental Crimes Act, approved by the National Congress on 13 February 1998, represents a major advance for the Brazilian nation and its environment. It establishes and defines new forms of crime in the context of technological advances and the globalisation of the world economy. It incorporates the guiding principles of modern penitentiary policy and penal theory in its emphasis on preferring penalties that restrict rights rather than imprisonment. It also restructures the previous legislation dealing with environmental crimes, a substantial part of which was inadequate, poorly defined or out of date. It severely punishes practices harmful to Brazilian wildlife, such as destroying or damaging native or non-native forest or forest for permanent preservation; causing direct or indirect damage to protected areas; causing fires; letting loose fire balloons that might set fire to the forest or other vegetation; extracting activities in forests set aside for permanent preservation; interfering with natural regeneration; receiving or acquiring timber and other plant products without a licence; making hardwood into charcoal and using power-saws without authorisation.
Pollution, toxic substances, the disposal of solid, liquid and gaseous wastes, residues, and oil or oily substances are also carefully dealt with in the Law of Environmental Crimes. Anyone who causes pollution of any kind to a point where it may result in harm to human health, or who causes the death of animals or the destruction of flora, can be punished with one to six years’ imprisonment. The law also criminalises conduct considered reprehensible, such as defacing public property with graffiti, and carrying out large-scale construction work without an environmental impact study.

Legal Amazon: Plan of Action for Conservation
Launched in 2004 by then President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the plan is a crucial tool for ensuring that deforestation rates will continue to decline and the Brazilian government is therefore fully engaged in putting it into effect. More than US$ 100 million has been secured for the implementation of the Plan of Action for Protection and Control of Deforestation in the Legal Amazon during its first two years. The Plan comprises four strategic areas:

  • Territorial and Landed-Estates Zoning
  • Environmental Monitoring and Control
  • Promotion of Sustainable Activities
  • Environmentally Sustainable Infrastructure

Other policies
In addition to the above-mentioned policies, there are also a Plan to Prevent and Control Deforestation in the Amazon, an Action Plan to Prevent and Control Deforestation and Fire in the Cerrado (savannah parts of Brazil) and a Low-Carbon Agriculture Plan (ABC Plan).


Brazil’s National Plan on Climate Change (2009) addresses how the nation will tackle its current and future greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. It has four general themes: mitigation; vulnerability, impact and adaptation; research and development; and enhancement of skills and dissemination. The Plan defines actions and measures aimed at mitigation and adaptation. Objectives 6 and 7 provide specific adaptation actions; the seven main objectives of the Plan are:

  • Stimulate efficiency increase in a constant search for better practices in the economic sectors
  • Keep the high share of renewable energy in the electric matrix, preserving the important position Brazil has always held in the international scenario
  • Encourage the sustainable increase in the share of biofuels in the national transport matrix and also work towards the structuring of an international market of sustainable biofuels
  • Seek for sustained reduction deforestation rates, in all Brazilian biomass, in order to reach zero illegal deforestation
  • Eliminate the net loss of forest coverage in Brazil by 2015
  • Strengthen inter-sector actions concerned with the reduction of the vulnerabilities of populations
  • Identify environmental impacts resulting from climate change and stimulate scientific research that can trace out a strategy to minimize the socio-economic costs of the country’s adaptation.

International Policy

General features

  • Party to the UNFCCC (non-Annex I):
    • Date of signature: 04 June 1992
    • Date of ratification: 28 February 1994
    • Date of entry into force: 29 May 1994
  • Party to the Kyoto Protocol (country with no emission reduction commitments):

    • Date of signature: 29 April 1998
    • Date of ratification:23 August 2002
    • Date of entry into force:16 February 2005
  • Signatory of the Copenhagen Accord: pledged emissions reduction of between 36.1 percent and 38.9 percent below its projected emissions in 2020
  • Party to the Paris Agreement:
    • Date of signature: 22 April 2016
    • Date of ratification: 21 September 2016
    • Date of entry into force: 4 November 2016
  • Post 2020 action:
    • Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) submitted in advance of the COP21 (Paris), on 28 September 2015 (for more information on INDCs see here). Following the ratification and entry into force of the Paris Agreement, the INDC has turned into the first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of Brazil.
    • Main actions included in the NDC:
      – achieving an greenhouse gas emission reduction of 37 percent by 2025 and 43 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 (including emissions from  LULUCF)
      – increasing the share of sustainable biofuels in the energy mix to approximately 18 percent by 2030
      – achieving zero illegal deforestation in the Brazilian Amazonia by 2030
      – achieving 45 percent of renewables in the energy mix by 2030
      – restoring and reforesting 12 million hectares of forest by 2030
      – restoring an additional 15 million hectares of degraded pasturelands by 2030
      – promoting new standards of clean technology and further enhancing energy efficiency measures and low carbon infrastructure
      – improving infrastructure for transports in urban areas
      – implementing policies and measures to adapt to climate change and build resilience of populations, ecosystems, infrastructure and production systems

Multilateral and Bilateral Cooperation

  • Brazil is a member of the G20 and the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF).
  • Brazil has joined Mission Innovation and has thus pledged to double its expenditures on clean energy R&D until 2020.
  • Brazil is part of the NDC Partnership, which aims to assist countries in achieving their climate commitments and the sustainable development goals.
  • Brazil participates in the Global Methane Initiative (GMI), which aims to reduce methane emissions as well as in the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF).
  • UK-Brazil High-Level Dialogue on Sustainable Development
  • India-Brazil-South Africa Declaration on Clean Energy (IBSA), which is a trilateral development initiative, starting from 2003, to promote South-South initiatives on development, trade/investment, information exchange and cooperation in areas including agriculture, energy, health, and climate change.


Negotiating position

In government’s official documents and statements, Brazil affirms its belief that the international regime embodied by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol is the most appropriate legal instrument for directing, in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, global efforts towards the reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Brazil ratified the Kyoto Protocol in August 2002, which entered into force in February 2005. In the Kyoto Protocol negotiations in 1997, Brazil proposed that differentiated targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions should be established, corresponding to each individual country’s historical contribution to the increase in global temperatures.

Until several years ago, Brazil’s position on climate change was thus driven by the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere than by yearly emissions. It argued that yearly emissions data generally overestimate developing countries’ contributions to climate change, and underestimate that of developed countries. In Brazil’s view, since the accumulation was principally the fault of the developed countries they must take the majority of necessary actions to reduce the stock of GHGs in the atmosphere. Brazil had announced that it would not limit its GHG emissions until the middle of the 21st century and instead sought further commitments from developed countries to reduce the overall level of GHG emissions.

This stance may have changed due to Brazil experiencing a series of natural disasters, starting with an Atlantic hurricane crossing the Brazilian coast for the first time in weather records in 2004. Further, the Amazonian regions experienced a severe drought in 2005 that generally caused food shortages and other economic havoc. A series of scientific reports, including the fourth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007 has also emphasised Brazil’s vulnerability to climate change.

Brazil has identified the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) as the main avenue for international cooperation on climate change matters; though the national action plan noted that changes to the CDM regime might need to be made. This strategy comes on top of extensive existing measures that either are aimed at mitigating climate change or have that outcome.

Brazil’s national action plan marked a significant departure from its previous stance. Though it was not without its critics, it signalled an increased willingness on Brazil’s part to agree to binding commitments in the context of a global GHG emissions control agreement. In the National Plan Brazil’s willingness to do more in the context of an international environmental agreement was emphasised. However, it appeared that Brazil’s further commitments were dependent on developed countries providing new financial and technical resources to Brazil as well as meeting their own GHG emissions reduction obligations.

In contrast, the INDC put forward by Brazil is not conditional on international support. After Brazil was one of the first major developing countries with an emission reduction target in general, it is now one of few developing countries that formulated their INDC as an absolute, economy-wide base year target, which is considered very transparent. However, the inclusion of LULUCF emissions makes the emission reduction targets look more ambitious than they actually are: The base year 2005 was a year with particularly high emissions from deforestation.

In the international negotiations, Brazil is part of the G-77 and China as well as the BASIC countries. However, in recent negotiations, Brazil has often made individual submissions. Moreover, the statement of the former president Dilma Rousseff at COP21 indicated a progressive notion with respect to differentiation and the principles of the Convention.